A bookmark is a thin marker, commonly made of card, leather, or fabric, used to keep the reader's place in a book and to enable the reader to return to it with ease. Other frequently used materials for bookmarks are paper, metals like silver and brass, silk, wood, and cord. Many bookmarks can be clipped on a page with the aid of a page-flap.
Modern bookmarks are available in a huge variety of materials in a multitude of designs and styles. Many are made of cardboard or heavy paper, but they are also constructed of paper, ribbon, fabric, felt, steel, wire, tin, beads, wood, plastic, vinyl, silver, gold, and other precious metals, some decorated with gemstones.
The first detached, and therefore collectible, bookmarkers 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): "I had no marker and the richly bound volume closed as if instinctively." Note the abbreviation of 'bookmarker' to 'marker'. The modern abbreviation is usually 'bookmark'. Historical bookmarks can be very valuable, and are sometimes collected along with other paper ephemera.
Source: Bookmark from Wikipedia
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