This notebook is one of the gems of my collection because I’ve never seen anything else quite like it. I must have bought this in the early 80s, at one of the various five-and-ten stores in my area. It’s just a generic mass-produced notebook. But this cover just fascinates me! There is something so weird and trippy about the image, which seems to be a collage of architectural photographs around the photo of a thinking man. Whose idea was it to put this image on the cover of a mass-produced notebook? Other notebooks on the market at this time had plain colored covers, or cutesy images or sunsets or rainbows or Snoopy. The story I’ve invented for myself is that the fuddy-duddy old owner of a printing company was trying to pass on the family business to the next generation and his acid-dropping hippy son begrudgingly involved himself by designing some notebook covers that would look a bit more mod and happening than their other offerings.
Anyway, whatever the real story is, I remember staring at this cover, trying to fathom its mysteries. You can still see where I traced some of the image outlines with a ballpoint pen. As for the back cover, for some reason, I’d taped a piece of notebook paper over it. You can see underneath that it was sold by the Top Scholar company of Columbia, MD, but made in Korea.
Inside the notebook, the pages are covered with the usual things I filled notebooks with in those days: lists of information we were studying in school, and doodles and drawings and diagrams, from some sort of electrical wiring idea to a sketch of a bearded Wonder Woman.
There was even a commentary on the notebook itself: