Confessions of a Reader 006 I Started Doing the Unthinkable

Listen. Don’t judge me please. Don’t hate me either. It kind of just happened.

Y’all ready for this?

I started… dog earring my pages.

Look don’t ban me from the community. I have really good reason to have started doing this. And once you hear me out you’ll understand that it was completely necessary. I’ve been spending a lot of time in the house with really small children to accommodate for circumstances due to COVID-19. This is important to take note of for two reasons:

  1. I have had the time to pick up tons more books, meaning I am reading so many books at one time
  2. My children are constantly around meaning any bookmarks I have in my books are constantly at risk.

I’ve been reading between five–ten books at any given moment. Now, whether or not I ever actually finish the books is not the point (we’ll get into that at a later date). Of course while reading those books I need some way of remember where I am in each book. When I am reading only one or two books I can simply remember where I am. I’ll just remember like “I was at the end of Chapter 6,” or “I’m on page 475.” For some reason that just worked for me. While reading more than two books though it would be a lot harder to just remember where I am for a ton of books at once.

Enter the “Bookly” app. I was using this app to keep track of all the books I was reading and where I was and on average how long it would take me to finish a book. I loved using the app and it was pretty cool. The problem was that I would often be without my phone when I would start reading. Waking up in the middle of the night for example and reaching for the book but not having my phone next to me. Or those times where I actually allow my children to use my phone to do whatever kids do when they steal our phones, and couldn’t have managed to pry my phone out of their little hands to start tracking my reading. The other major problem I was having was that I would forget to end the session. I would start a session and when I put my book down (usually the result of being distracted or having to break up a fight between my kids) I would forget to end the session. Sometimes I would come back HOURS later and see that the timer was still going. Unfortunately during those times I would simply have to just erase the session and try to guess how long it took me to read a certain about of pages. I do want to go back to using Bookly but at the time my phone is broken and I’m unable to replace it for awhile.

So, a regular person is probably thinking to themselves, “why not just use bookmarks?” I tried. Don’t think I didn’t at least give your typical bookmarks a try. I even used random things as bookmarks: receipts, money, envelopes from mail I recently opened, I even used the kids fruit snack wrappers from time to time. The problem is not what I use to save my page though. It’s the little bookmark stealers that creep around when they think no ones looking snatching pretty “pieces of paper” from books so they can play with them or write on them. This pretty much left me in the same predicament as trying to just remember what page I’m on but honestly it’s even worst because I was never TRYING to remember the page so I don’t even have any idea where to start.

So we’ve arrive at this point. I started dog earring my pages. Yes yes, I know. You think I’m a monster. I promise you I am not. Certain books I won’t dog ear. This might include books I am trying to desperately preserve the quality of, books I borrowed from the library, books I borrowed from someone else, and books that seem fragile as if folding the pages will make them likely to quickly tear at the crease. The reason that I am dog earring my pages is it seems to be the only quick and effective way for me to keep my page marked and not be left scrambling through a book trying to search for the last moment I remember. It’s like rewinding a movie except worse because you don’t have a visual in front of you. Instead you have to keep reading small passages of text and creating the visual yourself to determine if you remember that scene. The process for finding your unmarked spot in a book is even more challenging than that of a movie.

Here’s the best part. Even if my kids manage to get to the book and unfold the page, it will still hold the crease for a bit, making it easier for me to see the farthest page that was dog eared in the book (unless I’m rereading of course, might complicate things a bit.)

Anyways I have no regrets. It’s been working for me and so I’m just going to keep doing it. I’m not a monster by the way lol.


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