When I was young, my mom took my sister and I to the library every week without fail.
It was an ominous, dusty, spidery, old place, with creaking wood floors and towering rows of steel metal shelves that looked like they’d topple over at any moment. We had to be quiet in the library…anything above a whisper was not tolerated by the blue haired woman at the front desk.
But inside that library, on all those shaky shelves were books. Thousands of books. And inside those books were countless stories to be read, lands to be visited, adventures to be had, and rabbit holes to go down.
She would leave me in the children’s section for hours….actually, I don’t even remember my mom being there, but I know she’s the one who took us. I don’t recall actually being abandoned there, so I imagine she was in another aisle. I don’t remember what my sister looked at, or what section she went to…within moments I was lost, taking out book after book from a shelf, opening them up, making the very grown up decision of whether or not it was deserving of the limited space in the book bag my mother brought with her.
I still remember that book bag. It was a yellow calico print, and actually the size of a large briefcase. Mom was smart. She brought a big bag.
My mom, in her incredibly sneaky and subtle brilliance, taught me to enjoy the written word.
The three of us packed that yellow fabric book bag full every single week with our new treasures. Reading commenced on the car ride home….after all, we only had one single week before all those books had to be returned. Renewing wasn’t an option or a necessity in my family. We don’t dilly dally with our books, we devour them.
Years later, while living in Charlotte, NC, I went into my first super bookstore…a Borders or Barnes & Noble, I can’t remember which. There I discovered something even better than the library…a single building, full of brand new glossy books, with the extra added perk of a cappuccino bar. It was okay to pull a book out and read through it while slowly nibbling on a piece of carrot cake. Nobody worried about crumbs, and I could take all the time I wanted in that store. Every subject was there, and my interests changed by the minute depending on which aisle I wandered through. I could start a fiction novel, or read up on holistic pet care, or find gardening advice all in one place….a place that served cappuccino and didn’t have spiders or dust. How decadent is that??? I was in heaven. I don’t think I came out of that store for a good eight hours on my first visit.
The super bookstores have not been good to me. I invariably spend way too much money for those freshly printed words that I cannot live without. But I’ve enjoyed every second of it, and until now, it’s been a secret indulgence.
My first real bookmark came from one of those gigantic stores. They got me in the checkout aisle, the land of impulse purchases. There they were… beautiful beaded bookmarks on display for the rock bottom low price of about $15. Seriously….$15 for some string and glass beads??? I had to have one. In fact, I had to have three…one for my mom, of course, and two for me in case I ever lost the first one. I still have both of mine, and their value has only increased to me.
My bookmarks have joined me on my adventures. They’ve been with me to many places, and when we take a break from our secret adventures for a small while, they mark our last stop. They’ve gone down the rabbit hole with me, and come back out of it. When one story ends, they wait patiently on my nightstand for the next one to begin, sparkling slyly at me whenever the table lamp is lit. They’ve sat with me on a cold rainy day, huddled under a cable knit throw with a dog in my lap and a fire roaring, always marking my page with grace, always ready to be taken to the next page, never complaining, never daring to leave a mark or crease a page… never marring the inherent beauty of the printed words.
My first bookmarks were the inspiration for the earthegy bookmark line, and they done their job well. The bookmarks I’ve made have given me a chance to share my appreciation for something so simple, yet so elegant. They are the resting place for mismatched gems, and random glass beads…a new purpose for something extra laying around. There are no design rules when making bookmarks, except for one…they must respect the book and protect the written word.
And I have a confession to make…my earthegy bookmarks are my weakness. They make no business sense. They don’t make a profit, and even if purchased in bulk, the sale doesn’t add up to much. But they give me something else. They’ll be marking a page for someone that shares my love for the written word, adding a little sparkle to their bedside table, and joining that person in their adventures. That is enough.
To view all earthegy products, please visit my shop.