Are Stitched Bookmarks Relevant Today?
With the shift from print books to e-books, bookmarks will soon be obsolete. Don’t you think it’s silly to promote stitching bookmarks?No, I don’t. Here are my Top 5 Reasons Stitching Bookmarks Remains Relevant Today
1. Embroidery is relevant in and of itself.
Embroidery is decorative. That’s its purpose. What that decoration is on really doesn’t matter. Among other things, embroidery might decorate bed linens, table linens, jeans, a bracelet, night clothes, underwear, a piece of fabric hung on a wall, a container—or a bookmark.
Embroidery is a craft, a skill, and a tradition. It can be meditative and therapeutic. It can be a form of art and expression. Embroidery is relevant in and of itself.
2. Bookmarks have a place in embroidery history.
Why do we stitch samplers? Is the real goal to practice our needlework? No. We stitch samplers because they are a traditional form of embroidery. Their original purpose as practice pieces fell by the wayside, but their tradition and beauty remain. Bookmarks, too, have a history in embroidery. The purpose of bookmarks may similarly fall by the wayside as more and more of us switch to e-readers and e-books, but their tradition and beauty will remain.
3. Books are going to be around for a while.
Despite the rapid shift to digital books, millions of books exist, and more continue to be printed. They’re not going to disappear overnight. I won’t presume to predict how long it will take, but it will be a while before everyone in the country, let alone everyone in the world, will want to make the switch or be able to make the switch. Some people still use bookmarks.
4. Bookmarks are excellent outreach projects.Because they can be quick to stitch and finish, bookmarks are perfect teaching projects. Keeping the tradition of embroidery alive by teaching it to others is important on many levels—from connecting people with history to reducing stress and blood pressure to improving learning ability to inspiring creativity—so offering needlework outreach programs is always relevant. Learning to stitch and finish a bookmark results in more than a bookmark at the end: skills have been learned, interest and curiosity ignited, confidence gained, self-esteem improved. Surely no one questions the relevance of these things.
5. Bookmarks don’t have to be bookmarks.Some people collect bookmarks, not to mark books, but to display them, admire them, and remember their history.
If you let me persuade you to not use rectangular ready-made bookmark forms (not that there’s anything wrong with them—you’ve persuaded me to use them on occasion), a bookmark can be a keychain, a scissor fob, an ornament, a tag, and much more. With everyone using nearly identical e-readers, surely we can all use beautifully-decorated, personalized, self-expressive, hand-embroidered tags to mark our e-readers and their cases.
Yes, stitched bookmarks are relevant today.