I hate it when this happens. You're merrily reading a book, so intensely engrossed in the story that your eyes can't even leave the pages for five seconds; when the phone rings. You put down the book (carefully using the TV remote to mark the page), and go answer the call. Five minutes later, you get back to the book only to discover that someone has taken the remote OUT of the book and you've lost your place in the book. So you have to start flipping pages to find it while carefully avoiding flipping to the ones you have NOT read in case they might include spoilers.
Ok, maybe this sort of thing only happens to me, but it's annoying nonetheless. Why can't people see that when a remote is stuck in the middle of a book, it's there for a REASON?
I guess that's why they invented bookmarks then. Not the types that are marked ASTRO or SONY DVD, but actual bookmarks, those little glossy rectangular-shaped cardboard pieces that sometimes have a pointy end with a hole and a cute ribbon.
Over the years, I have used a number of objects as bookmarks. Besides the occasional remote control, I have also stuck pens (hence the ink blots in some of my books), spoons (which accounts for one unfortunate incident where I forgot I was actually USING it), tissue paper (doesn't work very well because the tissue gets so flat that you can never find later), RM1.00 notes (got stolen once), fingers, toes, mobile phones, other books (The Tale of Peter Rabbit comes in very handy sometimes), and even bananas (unpeeled, of course). On the occasions when I can't find a proper inanimate objects, I sometimes do what many avid readers hate doing - dog-ear the page.
In case you're wondering why I use these odd objects as bookmarks when REAL ones are a dime a dozen, it's because most of the REAL bookmarks I had (many of these containing advertisements for banks, insurance companies and charity organizations) have all somehow mysteriously disappeared (probably because they were mostly advertisements for banks, insurance companies and charity organizations).
Actually, I am now using a set of bookmarks that a friend gave me for my birthday this year. These LOTR-themed bookmarks are officially licensed from New Line Cinema, and were bought from the official LOTR fan club's website for approximately RM30 EACH. My favorite is this pretty thing:
Nice, eh? It's a mini replica of a Rohan banner, made from fabric with a small wooden hanging rod and costs USD5.99 EACH. Needless to say, I won't be losing THIS bookmark in a hurry. It also makes an interesting conversational piece. I was once reading a book at a cafe, when someone just came up to me and asked me about the bookmark and where I had got it from. And she was quite cute too. :-)
Another type of bookmark I often use are postcards. These may not count as actual 'bookmarks' per se, but they are actually some of the best bookmark-y things around. They're easily available from free postcard stands, have some very cool designs (unless you happen to get a crappy one advertising insurance companies), and best of all, their size and thickness is just PERFECT for marking pages in ANY book.
Beats a banana any day. Trust me, I know.