Why Bookmark-Users Will Never Understand People Who Dog-Ear Books
by Melissa Ragsdale
Marcos Osorio / EyeEm/EyeEm/Getty Images

There are two types of people in this world: people who use bookmarks and people who dog-ear books. The feud between bookmarkers and dog-earers is centuries old, and the blood runs pretty deep. And as a bookmark-user, I absolutely cannot understand why people dog-ear their books.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think books need to be kept in a cage and never touched. I think books should go out in the world and be loved as much as possible. And that's why bookmarks are so important: They let as many readers as possible read the book, with minimal damage. Bookmarks help books stay readable for longer.

As a frequenter of used bookstores and libraries, I often come across books that have been defiled by dog-ear culprits. I really just don't get it! For me, books are like my friends. It feels so weirdly disrespectful to fold over their pages, without a care in the world. It would be like breaking my BFF's finger every time we said good-bye. Not cool, and also not very practical.

So here are some burning questions that all bookmark users have for people who dog-ear their books. Because seriously, we're all wondering: WHY?


How could you?

Books are beautiful, amazing objects, and some people just fold their pages without a care in the world. Don't you feel like you're hurting the books when you do this?


How do you even know where you are?

I don't even get the logistics of dog-earing. If your book is filled with dog-ears, how do you know where you actually are? Especially when you're re-reading something! With a bookmark, there is no question about it. Your book just pops open to the right page!


What about re-reading or sharing books?

Books are like cats; they have many, many lives. My favorite thing about books is that you can share them around, and you can read them as many times as you like. I can see how dog-earing would work for a book's first read, but what about the others?


Why would you EVER dog-ear a library book?

It's one thing when you dog-ear your own books, but I really don't get people who dog-ear library books. First of all, the book doesn't belong to you! And librarians work so, so hard to ensure that their resources can be in good shape for thousands of readers and as many years as possible. It is just SO rude.


What do you do with all your bookmarks?

I feel like I'm constantly getting bookmarks, usually for free. Bookmarks can be beautiful and cute, and they're a fun souvenir.. What do dog-ear people do with them? Do they just throw them away?


Does it really save you that much time?

Some dog-ear advocates argue that dog-earing is easier and quicker. But, doesn't it take more time and energy to fold and unfold the pages, rather than just sliding a bookmark (or whatever piece of paper is handy) in? The logistics don't add up for me.


How far will you go?

Do you also write in your books? Do you put them down spine up? Do you throw them in the bathtub? Do you light them on fire? WHERE DOES THE MADNESS STOP?!