Yes, I admit I am having a love affair, with notebooks. I’ve only tidied my bookcase so far and found no less than 11 notebooks. Most of them empty. Not just any notebook you understand. Some of them are fabric bound, embellished, some leather bound, some laminated, there even a wooden one.
As a child if my mum ever lost me in the supermarket she knew she could she would find me down the stationery aisle. Particularly if it was during the summer holidays when all the back to school goodies were on show. I loved getting ready to go back to school, new bag, new folders, new pencil case. I was that anal kid that never let people write on my folders or pencil case. If someone scrawled on it I had to buy a new one. That was an early sign of my slightly OCD tendencies I guess.
I loved going shopping with my mum and not for clothes. One of my happiest memories as a little girl was getting an all singing all dancing pencil case from The Disney Store. You popped a button and a pencil sharpener shot out, or a small magnifying glass. There was even a pull out ruler. Admittedly it had little room for pencils and pens but it The Little Mermaid on it, who cared?! It cost around £15 back in 1993… Mum must have loved me. I knew she didn’t share my passion for stationery. It’s only now that she appreciates the finer things in filing and folders.
As I got older and my pocket money allowance increased my love for stationery grew. WH Smith was my favourite haunt. I outgrew the Disney Store (I know you can never truly outgrow it…in fact I’m going to see if they still sell those pencil cases!) but I discovered The Pen Store. One of my mums old friends, her old Ward Sister from her cadet nursing days gave me a wonderful pen. A Cross Concorde Edition Rollerball. I was in love. I wrote for hours with that pen. All of my teenage traumas were inked with that nib. I daren’t take it into college though, what if someone wanted to borrow it and didn’t give it back? I kept it safe in my bedside drawer…for my use only.
At university, my peers discovered sex, alcohol and marijuana. I discovered Paperchase. Oh my how I loved those days, long winter evenings spent perusing the aisles before buying a new gel pen and journal, heading back to Starbucks for a hot chocolate overlooking St Martin’s Church and listening the carol singers whilst scribbling furiously in my new favoured book.
What I wrote you ask? I cannot say, for looking back it appears I wrote very little at all. Some of these notebooks have never been written in, kept for special occasions..the day when…for this, for that. I have a fabric journal from Paperchase with Russian dolls adorning the cover, I never wrote it in because I swore my first entry would be the day I got into a size 16 after my gastric bypass. I would be the real life Russian doll…how cute would that be? So therefore I had to buy a different notebook to write in at the time.
As I got older, my tastes got more expensive. My last shopping trip with my friend Lucy involved visits to John Lewis, Selfridges, Liberty and Anthropologie…an orgasmic experience! Whoever said shopping was better than sex had clearly bought pens and post it notes on Kings Road.
Now we are in the age of the tablet, the smart phone, who needs notebooks? I have an iPad Air which I swore would replace the need for the journal and pen in my life. I spent hours choosing the right cover, one that looked liked an upmarket leather notebook and yet had a stylus/pen holder. I’ve tried handwriting conversion apps, positive I would never waste paper again. How can you say paper is wasted when you’re writing? The words just flow better when I’m inking…one reason I’ve decided to start using evernote. I can add notes to my Writer’s Notebook (a requirement and suggestion of the OU’s Creative Writing module) in ink, and then photograph them to make them digital.
I’ve also got the Hanx Writer App…which I just adore. It’s so satisfying to hear the kacha-kacha as your fingers fly across the screen. If I could afford it I would buy one of the beautiful converted USB typewriters…ok so they’re not quite as portable as a MacBook but they are gorgeous!
Back to practicality – my current notebook is a cute, handbag sized planner, a diary included. It has a handy pocket at the back for collecting loose material…in my case my recent flurry of white feathers found here and there. Thanks Andrea.
My notebook count is now at around 25… And that is just in my room, there are at least five more on my desk, several in the car, lord knows how many in the rest of the house. I’m out of control but there is nothing sexier and more alluring than the blank page and a nice pen when one is inspired, or is that just me?
With the OU course about to start next month there has never been more reason for me to write, I have so many ideas including documenting the next steps of my life…now if only I could find the notebook with the appropriate cover design for that…oh well, Liberty here I come…