Avi WordCraft blog


I recently had printed a bookmark which displays the covers of all the books in the Poppy series.

The Poppy Series bookmark

Avi bookmark Poppy series

I’m happy to give a few to those that want them.  Please send a SASE to:

PO Box 900
Clark, CO 80428

Here’s a brief history of the bookmark plucked from the internet.

“The History of the Bookmark” by Sailee Brahme

Research suggests that bookmarks have accompanied books since the origin of the codex in the 1st century AD. The oldest existing bookmark dates from the 6th century AD and was made of ornamented leather lined with vellum on the back, attached with a leather strap to the cover of a Coptic codex.

In late medieval ages, between the 13th and the 15th centuries, bookmarks used in manuscripts and incunabula in European monasteries were mostly made of vellum or leather using the rest of the material which was used to make the book cover, but existence of paper bookmarks has also been noted. Some of them were shaped as a sophisticated rotating disc made of vellum which could indicate the page or the column on the page.

The Royal Museum of Brunei showcases an ivory bookmark made in India which is embellished with a geometrical pattern of pierced holes dating from the 16th century.

In 1584 Queen Elizabeth was presented with a fringed silk bookmark by Christopher Barker who had acquired a patent as Queen’s Printer in 1577.

We are familiar with the common type of bookmark which was in use in the eighteenth and up to the nineteenth century. It consisted of a narrow silk ribbon, bound into the book at the top of the spine and just long enough to project below the lower edge of the page. These types of bookmarks are still in use especially in hardcover and reference books.

The first detached, and therefore collectible, bookmarks began to appear in the 1850s. One of the first references to these is found in Mary Russell Mitford’s Recollections of a Literary Life (1852).

Most nineteenth-century bookmarks were intended for use in bibles and prayer books and were made of ribbon or woven silk. By the 1880s the production of woven silk markers was declining and printed markers made of stiff paper gained momentum.

The great period of bookmark design and the use of luxuriant materials was during the Victorian and Edwardian eras. The idea that a bookmark be used to keep one’s place and protect one’s book gained mass approval, and bookmarks have been produced in a variety of materials ever since. Contemporary bookmarks are made from a variety of material including paper, silver, gold, wood, brass, copper, ivory, plastic, leather, ribbon, and silk.

With countless designs and styles available, collecting bookmarks is very popular today. The largest collection of bookmarks belongs to Frank Divendal (Netherlands) with 103,009 different bookmarks from all over the world, as of 8 February 2010, which he has been collecting since 1982.

1 thought on “Bookmarks”

  1. At some point I realized that I don’t need bookmarks, as I remember my place down to the word. That said, I have a Redwall bookmark and wouldn’t mind one from Avi- that is, if you still have any.

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