Saturday, May 19, 2007

Time, books, and bookmarks

As I looked at my Amazon account this morning, I saw that I placed my first order there in 1997, ten years ago! Is that possible? These were the days when they included free bookmarks with your order. I still have four from that time, and I cherish them.

My first order contained Bob Greene's, Be True To Your School. I still own it, and haven't read it... yet. :<) Then I bought a couple of the Niall Williams/Christine Breen books about moving to Ireland. They are still on the shelves, and while I've read the first two (and don't own them), I don't believe I ever got around to these two. It's time I do so. I see a few of the Mitford books, and some books about raising teenagers. That's where I was in my life just then. I see some Hardy Boys books I bought for my then, twelve year old son. There are a couple Oprah books, really the only ones I read. I remember thinking it was just the coolest thing that all these people were reading books together, though I never watched (and still don't) the show. Then I found that the themes weren't really my favorite reading, and I stopped. But those books, that book club introduced me to a bunch of women I am still friends with today, through a smallerthanamazon online bookstore called

The next year I bought mysteries featuring older sleuths for my husband's parents, one of whom has since died. I see more books about raising teens. I never read one of them. I was way too busy doing it to read about how to do it. :<) In 1999, I see I bought my first Susan Branch calendar. As the years go on, I recognize books and music I gave to my children and others. I can chart their growth by the titles. Charlie's Angels soundtrack, snowboarding books, biography of Bob Marley. There's the juicer I used just a few times, and gave up. These were the days before Netflix, and so I actually bought the videos of Kavanagh, Q.C. Oh, the money spent! There's the Christmas I bought my husband all the Inspector Morse books. Dragonball Z shows up over and over. I see the complete first season of 24 given to my daughter and her soon-to-be husband, now, soon-to-be ex-husband. There is the complete Steinbeck Centennial collection. Have I read even one? No. :<(

When I began this post, I thought it would be fun just to show those great old bookmarks. Then as I checked back over the account, I saw my life in the past ten years through books and music and movies and cookbooks and calendars. Much more emotional and moving than I expected on this Saturday morning.


  1. I like the bookmarks; I wish Amazon still included them with their orders. On somewhat the same note, I'm delighted when I buy a used book from either a thrift store or garage sale and find the previous owner's bookmark, card, note, "to do" list or grocery shopping list tucked inside the pages.

  2. I wish they included the bookmarks still too. You got me curious, Nan, and so I went and looked up my history with Amazon. With the amount of times I've forgotten my password and changed my e-mail address, I was surprised to see that my order history goes back to 1999. Bad Girls of the Bible and What We Can Learn from Them was the first book listed that I ordered. Thanks for sharing.

  3. That is so funny that you have pictures of those bookmarks. I still have a whole stack of them that I use very sparingly. I went back and looked at my orders back to 1997 as well. That was when I ordered massive amount of books (hence all the bookmarks) and I could remember a few that you or Les or others had mentioned on or later that I just had to have. Lots of the ones I ordered I never read. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. Do you realize it has been 10 years that we have been friends and book-talkers? Ha! Lots of life changes but we're still talkin' about books!

  4. What an enjoyable post! It's so interesting how we can tie certain books to the happenings in our lives when we either read them or meant to read them!

  5. What a wonderful history of your reading life these past 10 years!! I should try the same, although so many of my purchased books were through Borders when I worked there.

    Didn't you give me one of those Steinbeck books? I want to read East of Eden and re-read Travels with Charley. Perhaps sometime together with you?

    I have one bookmark from Amazon. Might have to do a blog entry about all of mine that sit in a drawer.

    Yep, as Kay says, a lot has happened in ten years! High school and college graduations, 6 (?) weddings, a few deaths, the birth of grandchildren, and a couple of moves. Amazing!

  6. I loved this post - so much that I also had to review my Amazon ordering history. It dates to 1999 and what fun to look back at what I was reading, thinking about, what books were bought and still haven't been read.......I particularly liked seeing what books I had bought and given as gifts. I remember those bookmarks, too! Thanks for this trip down (book) memory lane!

  7. I just want to thank you all for your comments. I so enjoyed each one. Thanks so much for stopping in.

    Yes, Les, (a poem) I think I did give you Travels with Charley, and we were going to read it together a few years back.


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