Book Love

What Does Your Bookmark Say About You?

It’s pretty clear that if you are here reading this, you’re a fan of books. Now that we have that out of the way, we can also safely assume that you have used a bookmark at least once in your life. But what we don’t know is what you use for a bookmark. So we decided to make up some personality traits about you, based on what you use.


Your Phone


The Walking Paradox

You love your tech, but, dammit, you love those books! Often found live tweeting chapters or Instagramming your latest page-turner. In a way, you represent all of us in our respective tech addiction struggles.

A Teabag

Tea Bag

The Zen Master

You’re contemplative, peaceful, and quiet, and probably meditate daily. Your collection of candles is unrivaled, and you might even have an essential oil diffuser. A cup of tea is never more than a page turn away.

Leaves or Flowers


The Daydreamer

You live the life people want to live—the one where most of your free time is spent sprawled on a blanket in a field, lost in a book.



The Enigma

On the surface, you might be judged as “rich” or “showy,” but we all know you’re just extremely existential. What is money but a piece of paper, anyway? What is life on this earth?

Toilet Paper

Toilet Paper

The Bathroom Reader

What some might see as “gross,” you see as “multitasking.”

The Polaroid Photo


The Queen (or King) of Nostalgia

Before you dive into a book, you take a moment to fondly remember a good time once had. Sigh…

A Piece of String (or a Paperclip)


The Minimalist

Simple on the surface but deceptively complex, you are the IKEA bookshelf of humans.

The Dog Ear

Dog Ear

The Sinner

The only dog ears we like are the soft cute ones on real living puppies, not the paper crime you silently commit night after night.

An Old Ticket Stub

Ticket Stub

The Lovechild of Queen of Nostalgia and The Minimalist

No waste, only memories.

Another Book

Another Book

The Lazy Intellectual

You maintain the ability to invest yourself in multiple books at once, which is an undoubtedly impressive feat. You do not maintain the ability to have a bookmark, however.

The Flap of a Book Jacket

Book Flap

The Pragmatic Reader

You’re as practical as practical gets—I’m not even going to call it lazy because it’s just too perfect. And also because I do this.

The Bookstore or Library Receipt


The Second Most Pragmatic Reader

It’s the most practical option if the book has no flap, but it also doubles as a relic of one of your favorite places to go. If you went missing and detectives had to search your apartment to learn more about your habits, this would be a vital clue.

Your Own Memory


The Potentially Insane

Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones with a photographic memory, or maybe you just are constantly doing mental exercises. You make us a little nervous.

A Pencil or Pen


The Lifelong Learner

You miss being in school so much that you see every book as a lecture hall. Can be found sitting on a bench, furiously scribbling notes in the margins. Doesn’t seem to mind that the book cannot fully close.

An Actual Bookmark


The Model Citizen

You live life by the rules and honestly, we can’t help but love you for it. But please, tell us: 1) how do you not lose it, and 2) how long have you had it for?

– – –

Is your bookmark of choice on this list? If not, comment below with your go-to page saver.

Photos by Irene Kim Shepherd

Jenna Homen

Jenna Homen

Content and Community Manager at Chronicle Books. When she's logged off, she can be found painting, cooking, camping, or petting her dog Harley. You can follow her on Twitter at @jn_na.
Jenna Homen



  • Jen Paul February 4, 2016 at 11:19 am

    Train pass or various other transportation passes/tickets – for the reader on the go.


  • Morgan February 4, 2016 at 5:36 pm

    Most commonly I’d use a corner of paper torn out of a notebook, which led to a lot of mangled journals and homework. Alternatively, business cards or those fancy cards you can get at Starbucks, for the busy business reader. I’ve also used old homemade bookmarks by grandparents.


  • Jennifer February 4, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    Post it flags 🙂 they stay put and never fall out… plus you can re-stick them dozens of times before you need a new one.


  • Rebecca February 4, 2016 at 8:45 pm

    Most recently, a business card.

    I love magnetic bookmarks, and used a homemade one for a long time. Still have it somewhere.

    As a child, I would cut corners or strips off the edge of colored card envelopes, and slide them on the edge of pages.


  • Erika February 4, 2016 at 10:45 pm

    Post-its! They work brilliantly.


  • Cindy February 5, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    I collect bookmarks. And use them. Some are from the 70s.


  • Cindi February 5, 2016 at 2:12 pm

    The card from the pocket of the library book. At least until our RFID system is fully functional. 😉


  • Debbie February 5, 2016 at 2:12 pm

    A torn piece of the back cover of the New Yorker.
    Child’s kindergarten wallet-sized school picture.
    Birthday card (from whoever gave you the book for your birthday)
    Hold slip from the library.
    Reading glasses.


  • Donna February 5, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    My adult granddaughter gave me a birthday card last month. A bookmark was part of the card. Prior to that I used anything that was handy!!


  • Amber February 5, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    When you are a parent you have to give up your tasseled book markers, the little ribbon that is in your fancy books and anything that protrudes from the edge of the pages. This will be the first thing your child’s little hands will try to grasp as they pass your book stack. I have found that I have to agree, sticky notes are the go-to marker for bookish parents

    With a house full of readers (12) we keep a large stack of colorful free-bee book marks in the book shelf for emergencies. Our book dealer (local librarian) keeps us well stocked in them.


  • Andrea February 5, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    At work (school librarian), it is sually a bookmark from a publisher… the cloth ones from BTSB are my favorites.

    At home, it is usually a laminated ticket or other paper that is meaningful.

    However, a pencil and sticky notes are never far away!


  • jane pendleton miller February 5, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    My bookmarks are both practical and pragmatic. I often use the ‘tear out” cards from magazines, or use old birthday cards, Christmas cards, post -it-notes or even a pencil (if I can’t find anything else!). I do save bookmarks people give me or the ones from bookstores, but I often loose them under the bed or in the sofa. I have invested in several “designer” bookmarks but I misplace them as often as not.
    Since I read everywhere, it is difficult to keep track of my place markers. I once found a silver bookmark in a library book, but misplaced it even before I could return it to the library.
    I am a voracious and inveterate reader and actually not an especially absent minded one, and I believe it is frequency of book handling that leads to my erratic use of bookmarker material.


  • Evelyn February 5, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    A postcard or a letter. Yes, I still write them and receive them.


  • Marley February 5, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    A piece of ribbon or fabric works best for me. It is cheerful and reminds me that I should get back to my unfinished sewing once I finish the chapter!!


  • Pat February 5, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    I use the cards from magazines. Even though I have lots of bookmarks, I like the size of the magazine cards, and the texture. Many of the pretty laminated books seem to want to slide out, while the card grabs. And if I forget it in a library book, I don’t care.


  • Sharon February 5, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    I collect paintchips. I have enough to fill a large wall. My favorite colors go in a basket that I pick from depending on my mood and the book.
    I love ’em!


  • Ari February 5, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    Used opened envelopes from bills and such, usually due to convenience and proximity, but actually rather ideal. Also on occasion, a playing card.


  • susan beamon February 5, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    I have multiple bookmarks. Really, I have a pile of bookmarks from publishers and authors and bookstores in each of the five or six locations in my house I read at. There is a pile of books, only a few with bookmarks in them, at each location also.I have large bookmarks for big books and small bookmarks for paperback books and fancy bookmarks for important books.


  • Doug February 5, 2016 at 6:50 pm

    In respect for the past – my old Borders card.


  • Laurie McCabe February 5, 2016 at 7:10 pm

    A fun size 3 Musketeers candy wrapper. This says two things: I eat treats while treating myself to a good book, and it’s a sweet memory of the walks I used to take with my great-grandmother. She always brought along two 3 Musketeers for us to enjoy while she told me about plants and bugs and birds we saw along the way.


  • Lola February 5, 2016 at 7:28 pm

    Usually a bookmark…some were given, some free, and many I’ve made. I cut strips from tissue boxes-the designs are so pretty. I keep the bookmarks everywhere and sometimes still can’t find one when I need it, so then anything will do…receipts…strips of paper etc. Found a photo in a book recently and yes, it did recall a happy time.


  • Maria February 5, 2016 at 7:41 pm

    I often use clothing tags.


  • Bonnie February 6, 2016 at 12:07 am

    Postcards from galleries, a bookmark handmade by my son given for Mother’s Day but mostly the cover flap or any old receipt! Do not like using a bookmark given to me listing 100 books I should read!


  • MaryEve February 6, 2016 at 2:21 am

    As a bookmark collector, I take my bookmarking serious. I love collecting bookmarks from travels and homemade beauties. I especially love the original bookmarks now found online or on Etsy. I’ve been collecting for a while. I even have bookmarks saved from elementary. However, I save all types of things I can use for bookmarks: foreign currency, cool clothes tag, football ticket stubs. Yep! I’m a bookmark need.


  • Augustin Ra February 6, 2016 at 4:46 am

    I’m the model citizen. I’ve been into making bookmarks since I was a kid but only use one or two but now I’m already in my second year of college, I use the bookmark which my professor gave me when I was a freshie. I lost it once when I forgot to remove it from a borrowed book which I returned last summer but thank God, the librarian kept it and until now, I’m still using it. I really don’t know how I can keep bookmarks that long but the bookmark that my professor gave me is really worth keeping. 🙂 Plus, I can totally relate with what my bookmark says about me. Hihi 😀

    Augustin Ra


  • Lucy February 6, 2016 at 11:47 am

    I have an Animark.


  • Sharon February 6, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    How has no one mentioned bobby pins?? Always within reach, always my go-to.


  • Christie Wright Wild February 6, 2016 at 9:53 pm

    I’ve used TEN out of those 15 listed. What fun! GREAT article!


  • Vicki in Michigan February 7, 2016 at 9:55 am

    Our library puts plastic stickers with our names and the book’s bar code on the outside of books that we’ve reserved.

    I peel off those stickers, fold them in half (sticky side in), and voila……… Right at hand, not precious, thick enough, not too thick…………


  • Liliana Galindo February 7, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    The dog ear. I’m a SINNER.


  • Nik February 7, 2016 at 7:45 pm

    A length of yarn, a takeout menu, a strip of postage stamps.


  • Asim February 9, 2016 at 12:27 am

    The most unusual bookmark I used was an uncooked spaghetti stick. I guess this is going to reveal the darkest side of me, but I wish to know!


  • Christina Elizabeth February 9, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    I use an actual bookmark. It’s a fabric one with little beads around the edges. I’ve had it for years and years, I lost count. I never lose it because it’s always in a book. The second I’m done with the book I’m currently reading, I choose my next book and put the bookmark in it, even if I haven’t started it yet. I have several other smaller bookmarks that I use for various short story collections of books of poetry, but I don’t keep track of those quite as well.


  • Julia February 16, 2016 at 6:53 am

    My grandmother taught me a trick I like to use. Clothespins are nice because you can use them to hold open the book while you read, then keep your place while you don’t.


  • Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard February 16, 2016 at 8:37 am

    Any convenient scrap of paper. Post-it notes (or post-it flags). Old envelopes. Business cards (rarely my own.) Scrap pieces of yarn (because I’m a knitter.) And yes, real bookmarks. I have a tall mug where I keep bookmarks — a few favorites that I’ve bought or been given, and some promotional ones from libraries, bookstores, authors, publishers, or other bloggers. I tend to hoard the favorites and use the promotional ones.


  • DOREEN RUGGIERO September 25, 2016 at 10:14 am

    I use whatever is nearby; sometimes a tissue, sometimes a torn piece of paper; other times an actuarl bookmarker and other times one of my essays/paper.


  • maria April 5, 2018 at 12:29 am

    Bookmark for me. I might have to rethink this though after coming home a few days ago to find my copy of Robert Fisk’s The Great War For Civilisation, which I was about halfway through, sitting on the floor with the bookmark lying next to it…


  • canon pixma mg3022 setup February 13, 2019 at 6:35 am

    I have a dairy where I keep bookmarks a few favorites that I’ve bought or been given, and some promotional ones from libraries, bookstores, authors, publishers, or other bloggers. I tend to hoard the favorites and use the promotional ones.


  • Ana Matos June 1, 2019 at 10:50 pm

    This article is just awesome 😉 I’m the model citizen but when no bookmarks near a pencil or another book are just fine.


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