Seniors Make Their Mark

Eleanor Bolker '22 on the books she included on her senior class bookmark.  

August 2, 2022
Eleanor Bolker

Eleanor Bolker '22

A favorite rite of spring at Exeter is the advent of Senior Bookmark season in the Class of 1945 Library. For the last 30 years, the library staff has invited graduating seniors to submit a list of their favorite books or media to recommend to other readers. These lists are then made into personalized bookmarks to commemorate their lives as readers and to share with the community. This year’s collection of 41 bookmarks is as eclectic as our student body. Some lists feature childhood favorites, others the classic canon. “The bookmarks have been an enormous success and more importantly a fun Exeter tradition,” says Metadata Librarian Abby Payeur. We asked Eleanor Bolker ’22 to share some thoughts about the books that made her list: 

“These books all paint a portrait of what it means to be human. They are all centered on and driven by their characters, characters who shimmer with life, characters with depth and complexity and truth to them. When you’re a kid, you’re often seeking a character who is ‘relatable,’ who thinks like you or cares about the same things or shares some piece of your identity and experience. I think that’s an important part of figuring out who you are — it certainly was for me. But each of the books contributed to something even more powerful than that for me: the ability to see myself in characters who were not necessarily like me in their identity or experience or even thinking, but who share in the most real way the beating heart of what it is to be human. That is what books are for.”

Editor's Note: This interview first appeared in the summer 2022 issue of The Exeter Bulletin.