Sales of bookmarks have fallen to a record low after the public finally worked out that any flat bit of paper or cardboard can be put between the pages of a book to mark your place.
“We always knew we’d be cactus once readers discovered that a shopper docket or an old electricity bill does exactly the same job as a bookmark and at no cost at all,” said Jay Gatsby, president of the Australasian Bookmark Manufacturers Association. “Let’s face it, the average book reader could make themselves a couple of thousand dollars worth of bookmarks just using a pair of scissors and the advertising material they throw out from the middle of every newspaper they buy.”
Bookmark production was a ten billion dollar a year industry at its peak in the 1930s before the advent of television, kindles and speed reading courses led to a slow but steady decline in sales.
“I still think a proper, professionally made book mark is a much safer option for saving your place in a novel than an old concert ticket or the label off a pair of jeans,” said boutique bookmark craftsperson Elizabeth Bennet. “People underestimate the important part played by the dangly bit of frayed cotton that hangs off the top of a book mark in stopping it from falling out.”
Also under threat is the greeting card business as well wishers start to demand more for their 5 dollars than a piece of cardboard. a drawing and one joke.
“You pay thirty dollars for a whole book which contains 70,000 words or more but somehow the card industry expects us to pay nearly a fifth of that for 20 words and a doodle,” said birthday card shopper Jolly Goodfellow. “If Charles M. Schultz charged those kinds of prices for a joke and a picture every Charlie Brown book would cost you a million bucks.”