If one were to subscribe to the motto printed on one of my teen daughter’s shirts, they’d know that bookmarks are for quitters. Oh yes, only those faint of eye and encumbered by a weak need for sleep would employ bookmarks in their reading journeys. They’re like little paperboard crutches for those not strong enough to start and finish a book in one go!

There was a time in my youth when I’d spend from dusk ‘til dawn reading an entire book in one sitting. I had more energy and more time back then, and the books were often not long or complicated. These days, the opportunity to read an entire book uninterrupted is an impossibility. Plus, my ass would fall asleep long before my mind. To be honest, I prefer the slow burn of savoring a book, drawing out the chapters like weekly episodes of a pre-Netflix-era TV show. Call me a quitter if you will, but my collection of bookmarks is as indispensable to me as the books themselves. So read on to Know Me By My bookmarks!

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My bookmarks are a mix of bought, found, and inherited, some more than a decade old and others relatively new. I can’t tell you where I picked up many of them, but some—like the Curious Iguana bookmark—are obvious. Curious Iguana is exactly what you’d expect in an indie bookstore located in the heart of an artsy historic district: plank floors that creak when you walk, solid wood shelves that smell of oak, and a cozy-beyond-belief atmosphere. The entire place is filled to the brim with books, journals, kitschy book bags, and yes—bookmarks. In fact, this is where I purchased my newest one just over a month ago, the bright blue and green dragon-adorned beauty with bead and tassel.

The oldest bookmark of the bunch–the small one with a globe and the words “A good book is a wonderful journey”–lost its tassel years ago. It’s been wedged into various books on my shelves for the better part of twelve years. I believe it was a birthday or Christmas gift, though I can’t be certain. I just know that I agree whole-heartedly with the saying on the front. The bookmark directly above that comes from a program hosted by my university in 2013 that highlighted Islamic culture and history. I attended two of the events and enjoyed the opportunity to break out some of my rusty Arabic skills.

The gray Prague bookmark next to that actually belongs to my husband, who toured Europe many years ago while living abroad in Norway for nearly two years. He loved the city and hopes one day we’ll have the opportunity to visit together. In the meantime, we settle for closer destinations like Rehoboth Beach, which is home to Browseabout Books (the yellow bookmark). Fun fact: Browseabout is where I attended my first book signing as an author. What a great experience!  Also related to my writing is the black bookmark for Unlocked, an anthology of short stories from the Frederick Writers’ Salon, including my spooky middle grade tale. It’s available on Amazon if you’d like to check it out!

I picked up the Kate DiCamillo bookmark from my local library as a reminder to check out her latest novel once the to-be-read pile next to my bed shrinks a bit, and I *think* the black and white “color me in” bookmark came from my former library back in Texas. The Wild Rumpus bookmark is a freebie that came with a stack of middle grade books a fellow Salon writer loaned me. And finally, the two lenticular bookmarks technically belong to my kids—stocking stuffers, I’m sure—but were left behind when said kiddos moved out to start lives of their own. And now, they belong to me!

I’m not sure what next month’s “KMBM” post will feature, so let’s call it a surprise for us both. See you then!