Marking up Books

There are lots of ways of marking your books but we’ve collected some of our favorites. With the ever changing face of reading, moving away from the printed books to the electronically printed materials of the e-reader and the webpage. If you’re looking for a historical record of some of the ways books have been marked in the years then this is a fun little page that introduces bookmarking on a 101 level.

Ear Marked

First and probably the least favorite of the book marking techniques as it mars the pages and makes the book look unattractive. The simplest of all choices as it requires no extra materials except the pages of the book itself ear marking or dog-eared pages in books is the practice of folding the top corner of the page down into the book in order to keep track of a page. Doing this to a borrowed book is a quick and easy way to lose friends especially if you’re bibliophiles. Collectors hate to see this done and no first edition book should suffer this punishment but it is the best method for a text book you don’t anticipate reselling or reusing except for reference to specific information.

Underlined and Penciled In

TIMG_0281his is also used in scheduling but penciling in refers to the practice of underlining and writing in a book with a pencil and not an indelible pen. It is useful to have light markings in books to help mark where one has had a continuation of a thought or found a profound piece of information and a pencil is a way of marring the book minimally for the sake of readily remembering the information. Again marking with pencils is still frowned upon by the every day collector so book borrowers beware.


The friendly bookmark is one of the easiest on the book incurring minimal stress on the binding while and keeping the book from any marks on the pages. This will keep your book from the educational mustaches and dog-ears of the reading community and every book should have one if not two of these included in them if the book is to be protected. Some holy books go to great lengths to put cloth markers in the book’s binding so as to allow for several ever present markers. Paper markers, plastic markers and cloth markers are among some of the kinds of bookmarks on the market today. One can also use plants, and flattening plants has for centuries been the use of some heavier and less read books. The bookmark has moved into the computing age with ease becoming the preferred term used to represent a page of content whose hypertext transfer protocol has been copied and saved for ease of access and saved as a button on one’s web browser.

Laid Flat

Some books can be laid flat but no matter the book the binding will suffer from this practice. Even books made specially to open a full 180 degrees will suffer from constant opening to such a strenuous level not to mention many paperback novels and hardbound text books are not meant to be opened to a degree greater than 100. Laid flat is a great way to wear out the spine of your favorite books but it’s also a quick way to keep your place while you run to the bathroom or fall asleep reading.


Who doesn’t love a nice neon tint to their reading. This draws the eye to a bright area of the text similar to the purpose of underlining and penciling in this highlight technique is useful for remembering quotations from the text and easily finding them. Often this is used in conjunction with dogeared books, allowing quick location of page and line in a book when referencing a work or calling to quick memory the essence of a texts content. Again book borrowers beware (BBB).

Electronically Marked

The invention of the e-book has allowed an amazing jump in the research and referencing of books and has allowed people to virtually highlight digital text and then print out whole sheets of quotes and underlining with relative ease. I am a huge fan of the digital bookmark function in e-readers such as the Amazon Kindle (of which I have two) and have used the digital bookmark function quite often. I hope to be able in the near future to use the print out function to create a collection of my own favorite quotes from books I have read and share them with the world on the world wide web. Until next time. Keep reading and marking and bookmarking and sharing your thoughts. Otherwise you might as well not be reading at all.


-Book Marked Out

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