Bacon, Bookmarks, Barrie and Bloomers

In a recent essay in Publisher’s Weekly, novelist Claire Fuller examined the weird ways some readers have marked their places in library books. Her publisher, Tin House, surveyed librarians to discover that, in addition to wine labels, money, and personal letters, there were a surprising number of food bookmarks: pickle slices, french fries, Pop-Tarts, bologna, tacos, cooked shrimp and uncooked bacon. Gentle Reader, next time you’re in the library pick up one of our Friends beautiful and O-so-free bookmarks. Make that more than one, in case it’s lost or stolen.

Speaking of bacon: “I know not, sir, whether Bacon wrote the works the Shakespeare, but if he did not it seems to me that he missed the opportunity of his life.” James Barrie

Pop Quiz: What do the following have in common? A shy kitten, an ugly duckling, a poky puppy? Second question: What was your favorite Little Golden Book? These beloved books have been published for 75 years, since 1942. At the beginning, they sold for 25¢ in department and grocery stores. Today Amazon sells them for $3.75 or so, maybe a dollar, used. You can find Goldens at Longmont Library, which also has the adult books Everything I Need to Know I Learned From a Little Golden Book, by Diane Muldrow, and Golden Legacy by Leonard S. Marcus. Currently, LGBs include tie-ins to Disney, DreamWorks, and even Star Wars franchises. To date, sales of Little Golden Books have topped two billion copies. If your favorite is The Poky Little Puppy, you helped make him the line’s bestseller of all time.

Did you ever wonder why ladies’ unmentionables are sometimes mentioned as “bloomers”? No? Then I’ll see you next time in May. For the rest of you…. They were named for Amelia Bloomer, who worked for women’s rights and belonged to the suffrage and temperance movements. She advocated a dress reform that included looser tops and short skirts with puffy pants underneath. Hence, bloomers, which is an “eponym,” a word derived from someone’s name. Not to be confused with “antonym,” an anonymous person, which is what I’d want to be if someone were bandying about my underwear.

*Written by Carol Cail — Read more from Carol at
*Originally published in April 2017

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