Lillian Kaiser, who studied Spanish literature at Bryn Mawr-she much admired Don Quixote, also one of my heroes and another inspiration for this odd, tilting-at-windmills quest the boys and I are now embarked on-likes to read weighty philosophical and religious works with footnotes, indexes and bibliographies. But even if your tastes run to lighter fare, you may find this easy-to-make bookmark useful. Few materials are needed: sheet of paper (white is fine but red, green or another color is a livelier choice), scissors, glue and a round object. This round object can be a roll of masking tape or a drinking glass, needed only for drawing a circle.
First, place the masking tape on its side and draw a circle on the paper. Cut the circle out. Fold the circle in half and fold it in half again, forming a quarter of a circle. Open the paper up and cut out a quarter of the circle. Fold the top right corner over. Put a little glue on the bottom piece and fold it up. In Lillian’s words, “it makes a little hat” that rests on the top right corner of a book page. This little hat marks where you left off reading the book or, as in Lillian’s case, shows the index or footnotes page for easy reference while she’s reading.
After shooting The Past Lives Again and graduating from college in 1953, Lillian Smith married, became Lillian Kaiser and had three daughters. But she never told her daughters the story of how she had shot the book with a .22. She waited more than sixty years until she brought it out on Mother’s Day to show her grandsons how to wrap a package in brown paper. Now Hank and Gabe own the book, and they are talking about taking it to school to share in class.
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