Finishing a Notebook

This is a rare experience for me– I’ve loved notebooks all my life and used hundreds of them, but it’s unusual for me to actually fill one up completely. Sometimes I just can’t hang in for those last few pages, because it doesn’t seem like enough room to start something, or because I’m just itchy to move on to whatever nice new notebook is waiting for me. I’ve also had many notebooks that I abandoned fairly early in their lives, just because I was feeling fickle, I suppose. But this time I really finished a notebook.

I think this is actually a great testament to the quality of the notebook itself, a softcover pocket Moleskine with squared pages. I fell in love with the softcover Moleskines the first time I saw them. Actually, I think buying this notebook kind of triggered a renewed intensity of my notebook lust, which led to my starting this blog. I love the softness of the soft cover, how easy it is to flip through, and how it just broke in so nicely. The edges got dingy, the corners started to bend slightly, and you can just tell the whole thing has been written in. This wasn’t ever a notebook I tried to keep pretty– I told myself I was allowed to doodle in it and use it for boring to-do lists, as well as any other little jottings that came to mind. I used blue ink and black ink and red and pink and turquoise. I stuck post-it flags in it. The whole thing is just a pleasant mess. I’m going to miss it.

I’m also going to miss using squared paper– I’m moving on to a plain paper pocket Moleskine and the pages look oddly bright and glaringly empty. My lists look a bit less organized without the lines to space them out. The squared paper was also just more fun for doodling– I wasted lots of ink coloring in blocks, filling them with dots and lines and faces, etc. I have a few more blank page notebooks to use up first, but I think I’ll be going back to squared pages at some point. Most of my notebook stash is also hardcover, and I’m thinking I may go back to a softcover at some point. I know many people have had issues with the durability of softcover Moles, and I did have to tape a page at the front to keep that signature from being too loose and falling off the binding, but overall, the notebook held up pretty well to my level of use.

I’m amazed that it took me 6 months to go through this notebook– in some ways the time flew by, but in others, this notebook feels like an old friend I’ve known forever…

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9 Responses to “Finishing a Notebook”

  1. Congratulations on the accomplishment. I have never yet filled up an entire notebook of any kind, even including my oldest sketchbooks. Either they get to the point of being beat up too much for me to want to abuse them any further, or, like you say, I move on the next new one before the old one is even halfway finished.

  2. hm, interesting. i thought i was the only one. it usually takes me about one to two months to finish a notebook, since i am a prolific diarist. but once i bought this huge and thick notebook and it took me about 6 months to finish it. i too had the feeling it’d been around for ever. though i’ve heard that some people only finish one diary per year. sometimes one every two years…but it might be bcoz i am living in hong kong and the person who told me this was writing in chinese. and chinese characters are more closely packed together.

  3. Congratultions!

    I finish a pocket sketchook moleskine every 4-6 weeks depending on how eventful the period is.

    I really wish they made a softcover moleskine with sketchbook paper. That would be a treat.

  4. Wow – it was great reading this and seeing how others use their notebooks! I have always had a love for notebooks and bought my first Moleskin just a year ago. Because it’s so beautiful, I have not had the courage to write in it, as crazy as it sounds. I don’t want to mess it up! Your article gave me the courage to go ahead and enjoy my notebook – thanks!

  5. I used to like the softcover moleskine until I tried the hardcover, which I found that there is a differences in the paper quality…. on the hardcover, my fountain pen and ink work nicely, and there aren’t any feathering or bleeding… but in the softcover, it will bleed.

    So far I had tried the ruled, blank, and squared on both… and it seems to be consistent, I guess perhaps on the softcover, the papers are thinner (it feel the same though).

    I had tried the diaries as well, and same observation.

    Anyone noticed that as well?

  6. Very interesting. For me I like to use the last pages of a notebook because I think it’s a waste to leave them blank (pretty notebooks really don’t come cheap here). I also think a filled notebook looks more loved than one that is only nearly-finished. Thanks for this blog! I love it!

  7. I have a bad habit leaving blank pages in the end as well… But I have actually figured out it’s pretty cool, because when you look through it X amount of time later there are pages to add comments to what you wrote earlier in life without having to refer to the event in a new notebook or on the middle of a page of old text 🙂

  8. […] of the first posts I ever wrote on this blog was about Finishing a Notebook. The notebook in question was this softcover Moleskine, one of the first notebooks I’d ever […]

  9. I think I’ve found my home! Lol.
    I love notebooks so much and I love writing and drawing but I’ve never finished a notebook because the next one just looks so blank! I want to wear out a book until it has that amazing used look but I still haven’t accomplished it yet. ):
    But it’s nice to know that there are other people with this love, so thanks!

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