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Bookmarked: The Bookmark Collector ~ Regina Mačiulytė

by Lindy Gamolo

Hello, everyone! After an eon, Bookmarked is back and we’re even more excited to share anything and everything about collecting bookmarks!

If you have read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin (which I recommend you do if you haven’t), you might recall that one of her resolutions to be happy is to start a collection. That part truly resonates with me for obvious reasons. For us collectors, we know nothing can compare to the joy and excitement that our hobby brings. It’s also a totally different feeling of happiness and fulfillment every time we add another item to our ever growing collection.

For those who have been following Bookmarked for sometime and have seen the previous posts on collectors, you might have thought that maybe we ran out of people to interview. Wrong! Trust me, there are a lot from all over the world whom I just haven’t asked yet but are as passionate about bookmarks as me and the collectors we’ve featured. Each one has a unique story and experience to tell. This time, Bookmarked would like to introduce to you a bookmark collector from Lithuania, Regina Mačiulytė.

Hello, Regina! We know you’re busy preparing for your holiday trip so thank you for taking time to share your bookmark collecting experience with us. It’s been a while since we had someone to share their collection. Before anything else, we would love to know more about you!

I live and study in one of the biggest cities in Lithuania—Siauliai. I’m a master’s degree student of nature recreation. It’s interesting, because I love nature, photography and bookmarks—and these hobbies can go together, but about this, I will tell you later.

Lithuania sounds like a very interesting place, could you please tell us more about it?

I don’t know what to say because there’s so much to tell, but I really love when people search for information [on Lithuania]. I love this video because you can see how beautiful my country’s nature and architecture are. Here’s another one on some statistics about my country, and these are 10 Things You Need To Know About Lithuania.

Most Lithuanians collect postcards and post stamps when we were still part of the Soviet Union and some collect also now. Others collects badges. I know that in my city, there is one girl who collects rubbers (I saw her rubbers exhibition in a library).

Looks like people will never run out of ideas of what to collect! But of all things, why bookmarks? How did you come to the point of deciding you wanted to collect bookmarks and for how long?

I started collecting bookmarks three to four years ago. I thought that I could collect them as a hobby and passion. Though I’ve only been collecting bookmarks for a few years, there are some older bookmarks in my box. My oldest bookmarks dated from 2004 and were handmade by my mother’s colleague who produced them as a paper collage. At that time, this lady was sick and wanted to do something that made her feel good. She thought that those bookmarks would make nice gifts for herself and for other people she knew. At that time, as I received those bookmarks from her, I was very happy and first had the thought of starting a collection. However, it took several years before I really started doing so.

Oh, I have an almost similar story of how I came to start collecting bookmarks! By the way, I know you also make your own bookmarks, as you sent me some of your wonderful creations. Can you share with us more about this?

I love photography and my father suggested I could make possibly nice bookmarks with my photos and these bookmarks could be unique. Sometimes bookmarks don’t turn out like I want and so my bookmarks can be the only ones [of its kind] in the world.

So I started producing bookmarks in cooperation with a publisher in 2015. I make the layout myself as I love to create and I can ask my parents what they think about my new bookmark in the process, whether it’s good or if should I make a new layout, etc. 

Now, whenever I take photos I always consider if they would make a nice bookmark. All these bookmarks are for exchanges and gifts because it’s really good to have some bookmarks which showcase beautiful places which you can rarely see in bookmarks elsewhere or are not beautiful as they can be. Also it’s cheaper to make bookmarks with my photos than buying some. You can also say that you made you made them with love!

That’s a brilliant idea, indeed! Do you have a favorite subject for your photos, which in turn become bookmarks?

I don’t have a favorite subject, but I always try to see if I could make new bookmarks or not [from my photos].

Have you tried doing an exhibit for your photographs and/or bookmarks?

When I was younger, I created paintings and I had two personal exhibitions in my city. My first exhibit of my bookmark collection was in Panevezys, Lithuania, back in November of 2015.

This year, I had three exhibitions in my city, Siauliai. First was in Siauliai University Humanity faculty, the second in the biggest Siauliai City Library, and the third in the botanical garden of the Siauliai University, where I was a volunteer. A fourth exhibit is planned in the school I have attended earlier. My exhibits awoke the interest of some local newspapers and they wrote about me and my passion for collecting bookmarks.

Wow! You got me inspired. That it can actually happen. I wish I could do a bookmark exhibition here too in the near future. Tell us more about these exhibitions! How did you display the bookmarks? How did you label them? What were the usual reaction of the people who got to see the collection?

I display them according to country or theme (if I select two or more bookmarks related to one theme). It’s really hard work to choose bookmarks for these exhibitions and to put the bookmarks back in their storage afterwards.

Everyone said it’s really a nice hobby. It’s unusual and interesting. One professor on art criticism said it’s really a good thing because you can know about the country’s lifestyle and history through bookmarks. Some people ask for my contact details, because they use bookmarks too and want to share them with me. Some people say that now they know who they can give their bookmarks to, and some even volunteered to search for bookmarks for me.

Do you know many people or probably friends from Lithuania who also collect bookmarks?

I know some people who collect bookmarks, but I know they don’t exchange with other collectors. They just buy or get new bookmarks from family members or friends. I think I’m the only one in Lithuania who has a very big passion towards bookmarks.

I hope that doesn’t discourage you! Do you have a favorite bookmark, bookmark theme or bookmark material?

I love bookmarks featuring nature, plants and animals, because my area of study is related to nature. I love the paper ones as well!

Do you have any words for other bookmark collectors? Any tip that you think they should know?

I think other collectors should know that sometimes it’s better to collect all kinds of bookmarks because I know that in some countries you can’t find iron or leather bookmarks and [it can be] really hard to find paper bookmarks. Also they should know how to keep bookmarks. I don’t keep them in a box. Instead I put them in plastic pockets in a document file. I sewed these plastic pockets and I could keep four or more bookmarks in one plastic pocket. Other than that, I suggest to be active and put up exhibits, because you will be better known and people will know that you are unique, that you collect bookmarks.

Before we end, we always ask this question about reading. Do you also read? What are your favorites? Tell us quickly about them.

Now I don’t have much time reading books outside my area of study. But when I was younger, my favorites were anything with a detective plot.




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