Like a lot of people who do a lot of writing, I love notebooks. Each empty notebook is, in my view, a masterpiece waiting to be written. When I actually start writing, of course, things don’t go to plan, but that isn’t the notebook’s fault.
I like plain notebooks, and leather-bound notebooks, and functional notebooks, and novelty notebooks, and cheap-looking notebooks you buy in supermarkets, and notebooks you find in museum shops that have reproductions of famous (or not so famous) paintings on the covers. I like ratty old used notebooks just as much as I like spanking new pristine ones. I like notebooks full of crinkly handmade paper and plain paper notebooks and notebooks filled with rules or squares. I like big fat notebooks that sit on your desk, and tiny wee notebooks you can slip into a small handbag, but the size I use the most is probably the A6-ish one in which I take notes while I’m watching movies; I have at least one of those in my bag at all times, and if they can be secured with elastic, so much the better.
If I see a nice notebook, or even a notebook that isn’t so nice but which tickles my fancy in some way, I buy it. Which means I have a ton of them. I know lots of other people like looking at notebooks, so here’s a selection. These are from my living-room – I haven’t even started on the notebooks in the bedroom, but maybe one day I’ll get round to scanning those too.
It’s vaguely conceivable that you might also be interested in:
Not, in any sense, compulsive…
You know me too well.
Stationery porn, lovely. I am not quite so obsessed on the notebook front, but postcards, oh dear, a real weakness. And nice pens.
Oh dear, it’s all going to come out now.
On the desk, a slightly battered A4 note book with floppy covers for jotting down the odd thought/idea and adding to the never ending lists of films to investigate having read about them on various blogs.
During the day, something by ‘Red and Black’ in A5 (preferably quadrille), board covers, but it HAS to be wiro bound, so that the cover will fold underneath without cracking the spine.
In the pocket/bag, I’ve been reduced to post-it notes and other ad-hoc bits. But I have kept back a very battered pair of old boots, with splits in the sole and over the toes, with the idea of salvaging the leather from the heel up to make the cover. And sewing in a folio of fresh paper, such are the dreams of fools.
Three of the notebooks looked very familiar, they sparked a memory of another brand that used to be not just common, but every bloody where once upon a time. And have now completely vanished as if erased from history. Blue and white marbled covers with some sort of logo in blue? A naked man in profile throwing a spear? Or was it a discus? Or has my mind finally gone completely wibble?
One of the real pleasures of life is entering an old-fashioned stationers – there are a number I relish on the Left Bank in Paris. Beautiful paper stock. Well-crafted pens. Notebooks where moleskin is merely the starting point. It’s paper porn and I’m not ashamed to say that I’m an addict. Are there others out there who believe that with the right notebook and writing element that a work of genius will result? One of the tragedies of our times is that we no longer receive proper letters any more.
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