I just love bookmarks. And as a reader, what could be a more perfect accessory?

Years ago, when I first started traveling for work, I didn’t have a lot of money to pick up souvenirs. However, I went to some interesting places and wanted to be able to have a remembrance.

Since I always tried to squeeze in a visit to at least one bookstore on every trip (if longer than one day), I settled on picking up a bookmark when I could find them. Now these were the days when independent bookstores were everywhere, so the opportunities were tremendous.

My collection became so large, that I now have them stored in a decorative photo box. I pull them out maybe once a year and remember some of the fun — and not so fun — places that I visited.

But most of my freebie, souvenir bookmarks are of relatively cheap paper, and I never actually use them. This means that while they’re a fun remembrance, they’re not functional.

So, in addition to the souvenirs, I like to get interesting — but functional bookmarks. In my last few trips to England I have found some leather bookmarks at cathedrals and castles, with the name and a drawing of the building on the front. I figure these are pretty sturdy, so do use them.

I can’t resist looking at the bookmark displays in Barnes and Noble and Borders. I have a particular fondness for ones with long strings of beads at the end, or pretty much anything featuring a fairy or a cute cat. But I think my absolute favorites are ones of laminated international stamps.

One of my friends came back from England last year and gave me a Tudor needlepoint bookmark to make, with the Tudor rose on it. It had been years since I did any needlepoint, but it was a really easy pattern, and I just love it.

Another friend sells crocheted bookmarks with beads at craft shows, and I’ve been the recipient of several. In fact, these latter bookmarks have sent me off on a search for knitting patterns for bookmarks. I figure this would be the perfect way to use up little dibs and dabs of yarn. I’ve found quite a few patterns, but so far, each one has some pattern element that I don’t understand. I’m going to keep looking, though.

How about you? Do you like bookmarks? What’s your favorite style? Any kinds you don’t like?