I use a piece of cardboard with an orange construction paper leaf glued to it that my son made for me about 10 years ago in preschool. Also use those subscription things that fall out of magazines, my one Garfield bookmark from 1982, and any scrap of paper that happens to be nearby.
I was just in a national park and they had book marks of beautiful wilderness photography (hence the user name) and I stocked up on those. I bought three and i rotate between them. Before those, i used a book mark from my favourite bookstore...but i sadlly lost it.
I have a bookmark I have made which is just a sheet of paper folded 4 times length wise. I also have a bookmark with my picture on it, one of those that come extra with school photos. I do fold pages but try to avoid it if it is a library book.
AH! no folding corners i get picky with books that way...i have a bit of a tradition...if i buy a book, i'll pick out a bookmark everytime i get one... one thats not too expensive! i also love making bookmarks; my favorite is really easy. its called a corner bookmark and you simply fold a piece of paper in half and cut off the corner, then staple the edge. i usually use scrapbook paper and put a little quote on it.
I've had to stop my outrageous book ruining techniques since I have borrowed a few books from friends recently. I've resorted to using bobby pins as bookmarks, since they are all over my lounge room floor and are the first thing I find when I reach down for a place marker.
I've bought bookmarks before it certainly adds to the reading pleasure though they do cost money and I tend to loose them. Currently I'm using one given to me at a bookstore (love when they do that!) its from: the cloud and leaf bookstore in manzanita oregon.
I tend to lose my bookmarks faster than I read a book, so in the past I just stick with index cards or pieces of paper. I used to fold the corners, but I think I grew out of that as I cam to really respect the written word. Right now I have a beautiful periwinkle metal one that my sister gave me. I've been really careful not to lose it because I really like it. It has a quote on it by Joseph Campbell: "Follow your bliss."
I use lots of things. In my college days I used pics of failed agarose gels. Now I use old tarot cards, photos of people I've never met, leaves, home-made ones, feathers, store-bought ones and playing cards. Right now I'm using a turkey feather I found yesterday.
I have this little metal clasp shaped like an arrow that says 'Hold that thought'. I also like conventional bookmarks and run through a lot of different ones that it would be pointless to list through. Custom made ones are the best, especially if there's any artistic talent involved (which I wouldn't have...).
I most definately loathe the idea of turning up pages to mark my spot. It ruins the quality of the book(especially a new one). I usually fold over a small piece of paper, like the receipt from the purchase of the book.
Although more recently I've started receiving from the stores those bookmarks that advertise newly released books. They are always good....
My most unusual bookmark to date has to be my current one. I'm reading Stitch 'n' Bitch Crochet-The Happy Hooker by Debbie Stoller...and am using my crochet hook and single chain I'm struggling to learn to make
I get really paranoid about folded pages in books, so that's out for a bookmark. I read a lot in the kitchen or living room, so when I'm out the door I grab a napkin to use - but mostly I just try to remember the general area of where I read last.
I always tell my friend how to read the books she borrows from me so she doesn't bend the spine or anything, and I get mad at her for bending the pages. I can't stand that.
Usually, for bookmarks, I use a scrap piece of paper. Every once in a blue moon I'll buy a bookmark, and surprisingly it actually lasts a while. But I usually lose them, so I don't spend money on them that much.