Tuesday, September 11, 2012

This bookmark from a 1980s Scholastic book is just aces

This Ace of Clubs1 was tucked away inside the pages of the 1988 Scholastic edition of Margaret Mahy's "Leaf Magic and Five More Stories."

What could it mean?

In fortune-telling, the Ace of Clubs signifies wealth, prosperity and unexpected gain, although, as one website states, "this money may disappear almost as quickly as it appears."

So maybe it means that Joan and I are going to win Powerball tomorrow (we already have a lucky-looking ticket2), but then the money will quickly blow away, like the autumn leaves on this book cover.

Or perhaps the other side of the playing card can provide more insight as we attempt to interpret the delicate strands of this mystery involving aces, clubs, wealth, autumn and foliage...


Never mind.

1. For this post, I enjoyed discovering what the playing card suits are named in other countries and historic regions. For example, they are Hearts, Bells, Acorns and Leaf/Grass/Greens in German. And, in Swiss German, they are Roses, Bells, Acorns and Shields.
2. If our Powerball ticket — which contains my day of birth and a reference to Pi — isn't a winner, I can just stick it into a big manila envelope for a future ephemeraologist to enjoy. Perhaps I'll scrawl on the back, "I bought this ticket the morning after having a dream that Joan drove our car off a mountain." That will cause the future researcher some consternation, for sure.


  1. Hello Chris, me again (Dutch cow, American barn, remember?).
    Much to my delight you finally discovered a subject that is fascinating me since 1994: secondary use of playing cards. The Ace of Clubs you did find in a book was simply used as a page marker. The kind of card (Ace) has no special meaning. Probably it was just a left over card from an incomplete deck. As from the 15th century left over playing cards have been used for about averything one can do with paper. My collection of over 4300 reused playing cards, dating from late 1400 until present, cover over 300 forms of secondary use. If you like to know more and see examples, please let me know.
    Your blogs are great!
    Greetings from The Netherlands,
    Gejus van Diggele

  2. You can see examples of secondary used playing cards on my page at Pinterest. Or e-mail me: gejusvd@xs4all.nl