The Expensive Smythson Notebook

Yet another attractive notebook posted at A Continuous Lean. This one caused quite a firestorm in the comments, when someone questioned the ethics of paying $109 for a notebook while children are starving in Burkina Faso. (My take on it: on some level, no, spending $109 on a notebook is not justifiable in our world, but neither is pretty much anything else done by those of us in developed countries. We all find our own ways of living with that.)


Read more at Wanted & Acquired | Smythson Notebook | A Continuous Lean..

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5 Responses to “The Expensive Smythson Notebook”

  1. I have long lusted after a number of Smythson products. But their prices are obscenely high. Still, if I had unlimited disposable income, I can’t say that I would never drop a few hundred dollars on one of their diaries.

  2. Yes, of course, one can justify such purchases by saying that it doesn’t matter anyway, that everything we Westerners do is not ethical – so one more “unethical” choice won’t make any difference. Perhaps it is so. There are no easy answers.
    This is my take on Smythsons: http://writinginstruments.blogspot.com/2010/11/stationery-store-series-smythson-of.html

  3. I don’t mean to suggest that one more unethical choice doesn’t make a difference, only that since it is impossible for us all to live without having to make these unethical choices sometimes, we each have to decide which ones are “worth it” and how we might try to balance out those actions in other ways by charitable contributions, volunteer work, whatever.

  4. @Palimpset, Excellent point and thanks for the link to the informative and insightful Guardian article. However, a company can sell relatively inexpensive notebooks and journals and still be “self important and stupid” — I’m looking at you Moleskine and Field Notes (and I like and use products from both companies).

  5. I agree with Nifty – I don’t think there’s anything wrong with enjoying a few luxuries in life, providing you have balance and don’t become obsessed with having expensive things. Smythson notebooks are made to last and no more expensive than many other luxury brands.

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