Thursday, September 8, 2011

Forgotten Bookmarks

It's happened to all of us: we're reading a book, something interrupts us, and we grab the closest thing at hand to mark our spot. It could be a train ticket, a letter, an advertisement, a photograph, or a four-leaf clover. Eventually the book finds its way into the world-a library, a flea market, other people's bookshelves, or to a used bookstore. But what becomes of those forgotten bookmarks? What stories could they tell?

By day, Michael Popek works in his family's used bookstore. By night, he's the voyeuristic force behind, where he shares the weird objects he has found among the stacks at his store.

Forgotten Bookmarks is a scrapbook of Popek's most interesting finds. Sure, there are actual bookmarks, but there are also pictures and ticket stubs, old recipes and notes, valentines, unsent letters, four-leaf clovers, and various sordid, heartbreaking, and bizarre keepsakes. Together this collection of lost treasures offers a glimpse into other readers' lives that they never intended for us to see.

Friday, July 9, 2010


Michael Popek is the 34 year-old manager of a family-run used and rare bookstore in Oneonta, N.Y. He has been in the book business since junior high school, when his father bought a vanload of used books at an auction and decided to see if there was any money to be made off them. Since then, his family has built a successful used-book business that combines a brick-and-mortar location with an online presence that ships books all over the world. As manager of the bookstore, Popek buys books from libraries, estates and individuals on a regular basis. His first Forgotten Bookmark, which he posted in June 2007, was a handwritten note found in a paperback copy of "The Blind Assasin" by Margaret Atwood. Since that post, more than 700 items have been featured on the website.