N is for Notebooks

“I can’t predict how reading habits will change. But I will say that the greatest loss is the paper archive – no more a great stack of manuscripts, letters, and notebooks from a writer’s life, but only a tiny pile of disks, little plastic cookies where once were calligraphic marvels.”
-Paul Theroux

A few of my favorite upcycled journals from Etsy.

A few of my favorite upcycled journals from Etsy.

I confess: I have a bit of a notebook addiction.  I love notebooks, with all those clean pages waiting for me.  An empty notebook has endless possibilities; it seems to symbolize everything I love about writing.

I used to use cheap notebooks and try to keep different notebooks for different things, but I found that I’d forget what was what and I’d jot things down while I was out and about, then forget to put it in the notebook used for that purpose.  Now I try to use just one at a time.  Well, a notebook and a journal, though the notebook turns into a journal at times.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve stopped viewing nicer notebooks as an indulgence.  I may not be making tons of money writing, but that doesn’t make me less of a writer.   And for a writer, a notebook is a tool.  Tools should fit the job being done.  A carpenter wouldn’t use a shabby hammer, bought for cheapness.  He’d probably use a hammer that was well-constructed, that fit his hand, and was made from sturdy materials.  Once I started looking at it that way, I started buying notebooks I actually enjoy.

I love new notebooks, but I also love all things vintage.  Etsy is my personal candy store, and I love searching for upcycled notebooks, make from all kinds of “trash.”  I try not to go on and look at notebooks because I can buy them the way other women buy shoes.  I gave a friend a upcycled notebook once, and she didn’t “get it.”  I later learned that she does not like used things and it would never occur to her to buy from a thrift store.  My husband says he finds them “distracting.”  Personally, I think they have character and help my creativity.

I tried using the “notes” section on my iPhone for this, but it just wasn’t the same.  I don’t feel as creative typing notes into a smartphone as I do using a good pen and writing down my thoughts.  I can doodle.  I can draw lines and arrows, things that don’t work on an iPhone or iPad.  When I sit down to formally write, I definitely prefer a computer.  But for notes, I’ll stick with a notebook.

“Insights don’t usually arrive at my desk, but go into notebooks when I’m on the move. Or half-asleep.”
-Hilary Mantel



One comment on “N is for Notebooks

  1. brhsteach says:

    Stopping in from A-Z. I too love notebooks….and love pens that go with them. I journal and have several million notebooks with song lyrics, half done poetry, thoughts, one liners. I am so glad there is someone else out there like me.

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