Books, Thoughts

Bookmark Monday (V): The Good China Bookmarks

Frequently while I was growing up, I was told that gifts or things that were given to me were meant to last & ‘wouldn’t it be nice if you were able to give this to your children one day?’  Going through my bookmark box, I found a few of those bookmarks that qualified.  Ones that I jokingly think of to save for company, like the good china.

Continue reading “Bookmark Monday (V): The Good China Bookmarks”

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Thoughts

Not Without My Decor

Curtains Have I Made
A set of curtains I’ve made

I’m feeling possessive of my curtains.  Paranoid might actually be a more accurate descriptor.  We’re getting ready to move again in a few months & my anxiety has decided to fixate on whether or not we’ll be taking them with us to the new place.

I’m sure that sounds like a small petty thing; maybe it is.  Let me explain it a little better.  We moved around a lot when I was a kid—not military-family a lot but as my parents’ jobs & finances changed, we inevitably found a new place every 3-5 years.  We never took the curtains with us & to this day, I don’t know why.  Maybe they didn’t want to deal with the hassle of taking down the rods & hardware & putting it up at another place.  Maybe there are super secret real estate arrangements that hinge on whether or not a family willingly gives up their window dressings.  Maybe my parents have some heretofore unknown superstition about carrying draperies (& by extension bad luck) from one dwelling to another.

I don’t know & for the most part, it was just a thing I didn’t get to have a say in, like the moving.  It didn’t really bother me until I got older, had a job, & was able to spend my own meager income on decorative things.  We moved into one house where the owner had left behind her own drapes in some of the rooms.  (Why?!  What is the reasoning?)  These were blackout drapes that were coated in cat fur near the top.  I was working at a linens store at the time & I spent a couple of weeks looking at what I liked & comparing prices, before finally settling on green panels & long gauzy white swags.  It would hardly make House Beautiful but I had ambitious dreams & a minimum wage budget, so I made it work.

A few years later, it was time to move again.  And when I brought up how I was trying to figure out how to pack the curtains, my mom told me I couldn’t take them because, they weren’t included in the contract.  HUGE fight followed: I’m screaming that I bought them with my own money & my mom yelling back that she’s not going back to the realtor to dicker over curtains.

When I finally moved out on my own, I didn’t take any curtains & lived in different rented places for seven years with just blinds & nothing else.  And then, my husband & I moved to our current place & I loosened up a bit.  There were no pre-existing blinds, the Target curtains we bought were flimsy & we had some drafts coming in through the windows, & I was learning how to sew. . . so I made curtains.  Nothing too fancy, just repurposed sheets that were on sale but they made me happy & they were pretty. . . & now we’re getting ready to move again.  And I don’t want to leave these behind too.

So I guess it’s time to grow up & ask why we always left the curtains behind.  At the very least, I still have the cheapie Target curtains; I’d have no problem leaving those for strangers.

Books, Thoughts

Bookmark Monday (IV): Leather, oh my!

I was processing some donated books for work the other week & amid the ephemera tucked between the pages were two leather bookmarks. This was completely new to me; I’ve never really seen these kind, much less commemorative ones for a specific place.

found_bookmarks
Church & State

I’m not saying that leather is a poor choice for a bookmark; it just seems that with the finish & the embossing, the end product seems nicer & little pricey for just being left in a book that destined for the bargain bin.  No one’s come to claim them either; they’ve been sitting in the lost & found since.  Kinda sad, but then I’m prone to caring about things as if they were people.

And I must admit, considering that these are from a church & a military school, there’s a perverse part of me that wonders if its meant to do double-duty as a penance tool.

(Bookmark Mondays originated from Guiltless Reading.)

Guiltless Reading
Books, Thoughts

Off the Shelf: Paperbacks From Hell

Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of '70s and '80s Horror FictionPaperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of ’70s and ’80s Horror Fiction by Grady Hendrix

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I came across this book on display at a local Barnes & Noble & immediately swooped it up. I had just spent the afternoon at a nearby used bookstore taking pictures of weird & retro sci-fi covers–how could I not check this collection out?!

Author Grady Hendrix was merely another curious browser in dusty old book stores, trying to find the weirdest, most lurid forgotten paperbacks until his innocuous habit became a full-blown obsession with cataloging the explosion of horror novels from the 70s & 80s. His timeline kicks off with the publication of Rosemary’s Baby & ends with Clive Barker & the brief explosion of teen horror luminaries like R.L. Stine & Christopher Pike.

Hendrix is having way too much fun with this book, exploring the social anxieties of the decades & making a bunch of silly running jokes about how skeleton doctors are the worst doctors with equal enthusiasm. And if you are curious about his focus & are game to play along, you’ll have fun while reminiscing about some of those same mass market covers you probably saw in the supermarket while tagging along on your parents’ errands. In all seriousness, some of the books/authors that Hendrix outlines will tease you just enough that you’ll find yourself making a reading list against your better judgement. He’s convinced this reader to give V.C. Andrews a chance & to cause me to look at William Johnston’s Westerns with a skeptical glance. (I see you, weirdo, with your supposedly milquetoast jacket descriptions.)

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Books, Thoughts

Bookmark Monday (III): Bookmark Buying PSA

The holidays are here, everyone!  There will be lots of cool gifts out there for stocking stuffers or even just as small gifts from friends & loved ones.  Bookmarks are a fantastic example.  But as I was going through my bookmark box, I noticed a few at the bottom that, though lovely & given with good wishes, I have never used.

Three fashionable but impractical bookmarks
Bookmarks that tear the page instead of keep the place

All three of these have top pieces that are heavier that the rest of the bookmark, meaning they tend to sink down onto pages & tear them.  Especially if you are mainly a paperback reader, like me.  They are lovely to display as objects on shelves or clipped to card stock or stuck upright in a plant or basket.  But remaining in a book, even for a brief while?  Nooooooo.

However, if you do like the weight & durability of a metal or plastic bookmark, you can still find interesting ones that are in the classic rectangular shape without any edges or corners that could catch.  For example:

A stylish metal bookmark with a classic form & durability
A simple, elegant solution

Ahhhh, a wonderful straightforward marker that I can put in my book without any worry about what it will do to my pages.  So remember, this holiday season, go with a timeless style of bookmark so your bibliophile friends will worry less about their pages & remember more your thoughtfulness.

 

 

(Bookmark Mondays originated from Guiltless Reading.)

Guiltless Reading