A More Useful Bookmark




About: I miss the days when magazines like Popular Mechanics had all sorts of DIY projects for making and repairing just about everything. I am enjoying posting things I have learned and done since I got my first ...

This bookmark will tell you exactly on which page and at which line to begin reading again.

This bookmark was made from plastic file folders of contrasting colors. Make the size according to that of a typical book. The red piece should be a bit longer than the book is high. The blue piece should be a half of an inch wider than the red piece. If you wish, you may round the corners, especially on the red piece.

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Step 1: Cut the Long Piece

I used a sliding paper cutter to cut pieces 5/8 inch wide.  For accuracy I measured along the length of the edge to insure the piece has a uniform width.

Step 2: The Slider

The blue piece slides on the red piece.  Make the blue piece 1 1/4 inch wide and about 2 1/8 inches long. 

I have a hole punch that makes 1/8 inch holes.  Make one hole near the top of the slider.  Make two holes near the center of the slider.

Step 3: Mark the Slider

Two slots will be cut across the blue slider.  Use the red long piece to mark the ends of the slots with dots. 

Step 4: Cut the Slots

Use a knife or chisel to cut a slot between each pair of dots.

Step 5: Join the Slider to the Long Piece

Slip one end of the red long piece through the slots in the blue slider.

Step 6: Both Sides Now

You can see that one hole is visible from one side of the bookmark while two holes are visible from the other side of the bookmark.

Step 7: Cut a Notch in the Slider

Make a notch in the slider.  This notch will show you the line at which you are to begin reading again.

Step 8: How to Use

When a book is open the page on one side will have an odd number. The page on the other side will have an even number. If you are stopping on a page with an odd number, turn the bookmark over so one hole in the slider will be visible as you open the book from the front cover. One is an odd number. Turn the side with two holes up if you are stopping on an evenly numbered page. Two is an even number. (The page number in the yellow box is 185. The yellow arrow points to one hole in the blue slider.)

Move the slider down to the line where you want to begin again. See the yellow underline. (I have gotten into the habit of aligning the bottom of the page with the end of the long piece of the bookmark, and letting any extra length protrude from the top of the page. If the bookmark moves up or down in the book, I just pull the bottom of the bookmark in line with the bottom of the page and the line indicator is back where I had placed it.)

Open the book from the front cover and you will know immediately on which page and which line you are to begin reading again.

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    25 Discussions


    5 years ago

    I have a bookmark similar to your bookmark. I would like you to make an instruction about it. You don't even need to mention me but just let me use your instruction in the future, please!

    1 reply
    Phil Brwong15

    Reply 5 years ago

    If you have an idea you developed, you are free to publish it. I am not sure if you want to link to my Instructable or something else. I do not see a problem as long as you do not take credit for someone else's idea. I would not copy someone else's Instructable into an Instructable I was doing. I hope this helps.


    6 years ago on Step 8

    This is BRILLIANT!! Thanks so much for sharing, you have no idea how much I read!

    1 reply

    7 years ago on Introduction

    Really cool idea. I'll have to make some and hope to pass out to my Bible Study group. Very impressed that you found a way to avoid all the re-reading I do when returning to my books. I also like the hole punching, rather than simply using words to express odd or even pages.

    1 reply
    Phil Bbethmwl

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you, Beth. The one problem in using this for marking a location in a Bible (if that is the intent of your comment) is that most Bibles are printed with two columns on the page. The bookmark would not indicate in which column to begin again. (I posted this earlier without the "not" in the last sentence, and it did not say what I intended.)

    Yes, the holes are a better way than writing "even" and "odd" onto the marker. I assume the small hole punches are available without too much searching.

    Thank you for looking and for commenting.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Great idea Phil. I'm not sure if it's an original idea but I think I'll make a single Ribbon Marker, using your other guide, and throw a slider on the ribbon so I can have the best of both worlds with my hardcover books.

    1 reply
    Phil Bkr580

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you for looking and for your comment. Many years ago the Greek New Testament I was using had a ribbon sewn into the binding. It was a time when I was looking up many words in one sentence. I folded a slider like you describe over the ribbon and glued the ends of the slider together. It worked well for helping me get back to the right line quickly when looking up a word in the dictionary. It will not tell you whether you are to begin on the left or right side page, though, unless you marked the sides of the slider differently and allowed the ribbon to have a twist in it.

    Awesome idea! I always try to use scraps of paper and face it in a certain way to tell exactly where I left off, but I always forget where I am trying to mark. This sounds like it would work so much better!

    1 reply
    Phil Bsiafulinux

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you for looking. You will appreciate this bookmarker, especially if you have more than one book started at any given time. It is fun to give them to friends, but explain to them they will need to make their own extra copies. :-)

    siafulinuxPhil B

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Yup, that's actually me to a T. When I am reading, I tend to have two or three books going at one time. This is really nifty and a great idea. Thanks for this 'ible!

    Phil Bsiafulinux

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    About 15 years ago I had to be one of very few men at a women's retreat. Everyone was to make a custom bookmark to exchange with one of the other people. I imagined the kinds of things the women would bring and thought there had to be some way I could do better. I got to thinking about a way to make a bookmark that would immediately and easily tell the user exactly where to begin again--what page and what line of text. This is what I figured out. When I found Instructables I eventually decided to post it as an 'Ible. Thanks again.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I just did it! Simple, nice and useful :)
    Thank you for the great idea; using colorful paper or something decorated it would be even cooler ^^ it looks very customizable too ^^
    Thanks again and sorry for the mistakes :P i'll practice my english :P

    1 reply
    Phil Bbrubruna

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Your English looks very good. I never would have guessed you are not a native speaker, had you not mentioned practicing it.

    I am glad you like this idea. I have found it very helpful and useful. I use several in different books, all at the same time. They are fun to give to friends. Thank you for your comment.