My sisters and I come from a long line of packrats. Our mother kept programs, ticket stubs, newspaper clippings, letters, tiny little notebooks with all of her expenditures -- the list goes on. And these apples did not fall far from that tree. Yesterday a card arrived in the mail from my sister Kay. She sent me a bookmark from her days as a manager of B. Dalton Bookseller stores.
A souvenir of the late 1980s, this bookmark tells a story of its own. Beatrix Potter's original publisher, Frederick Warne & Co., was acquired by Penguin Books in 1983. As part of Penguin, Warne created new editions of Beatrix Potter's books with sumptuous new reproductions of her artwork. The new editions hit the streets in 1987, according to the Penguin website:
It seems likely that this bookmark was a promotional item that was part of the launch of the new editions of the little books. Both companies, the publisher and the bookseller are shown. Three registered trademark symbols are shown. It was during these years that Penguin/Warne began to license the Beatrix Potter characters, a campaign that continues today.
I doubt Beatrix Potter would have approved the phrase "The Original Peter Rabbit Books" leading the list of her titles. She got tired of the "bunny books" (her phrase). Her favorite biij was The Tailor of Gloucester which has mice and a cat, as well as a tailor, but narry a bunny. Still, she was a savvy businesswoman and no doubt would have appreciated the marketing push.
Beatrix Potter was a packrat too, thank goodness for those of us who are interested in her interests. So that this bookmark survived several decades and several moves, and that my sibling could put her hands on it (I salute you, sis) is a special gift for me.
My sister's note read, "I knew there was a reason I was holding onto this little souvenir all these years -- little did I know my little sister was writing the perfect book for this bookmark to belong in! Love you kid -- Kay."
Sisters are precious things. Let's keep them.