This week’s addict is a writer who has challenged himself to write a million words this year, including typed on the computer and handwritten in notebooks. I think John is doing pretty well at reaching his goal, based on his website and these photos of his notebook collection:
I’ve always written, since I was very young, it was a way for me to get the word in my head out of my head and somewhere else so I had space for more words to get in. My first notebooks were the old school essay books and Black’n’red when the milk round started paying because they lasted so long (the A5 and A6 books in the pictures are both more than twenty five years old). I was introduced to Moleskine by a friend in 2003 and began to understand that I wasn’t the only one out there who appreciated a good notebook, but for me, they need to have something in them, it’s like a glass, it’s function is to carry something, it wasn’t made to be empty. Over the years I’ve collected all manner of notebooks and my family bring me new notebooks from wherever they were at the time (I’m an easy buy at birthdays), from the metal and leather bound books from Italy to the gigantic diaries from Holland, and I never leave home without one, sometimes two with me.
I do a lot of typing these days, as my writing speed simply can’t compete with sixty words a minute without getting scrappy and i like things to be neat. But in recent times (especially with the million word challenge), I find that I can do my day job and hand write a thousand or so words a day to help in the challenge and also keep up with my handwriting skills. In the last twenty days, there’s been a good sixty pages filled in my current book (the Leuchtturm has been a favourite for some time, it appeals to my OCD on indexes and numbered pages), and at this rate I’ll be going through the other books soon.
There are lots more photos of John’s notebooks in this Flickr album. John’s description of all the photos is below:
The Image “On the shelf” comprises all the notebooks in order from left to right. Moleskine A4 lined, Rymans A4 pad, BlackNRed A4 decorated personally, Brepols Saturnus 2 pages to a day Diary, Brepols Saturnus day to a page diary, Brittanicus book in leather binding, Paperblanks quarto size notebook, Semicolon A5 book, WHSmiths own A5 book, then A5 notebook, then day to page A5 diary, BlackNRed A5 book, Rymans decorated A5 spiral book, Wild and Wolf A5 notebook, Asda A5 notebook, Moleskin Large day to page diary, Marvel A5 notebook, 3 x Moleskine, 3 x Guildhall, 2 x Leuchtturm notebooks, Metal backed book from Italy, Collins A6 day to page diary, Paperchase Gridded A6 notebook.
Across the Top left to right and top to bottom, 2 x Penshop end of line leather bound blank pads, 1 x BlackNRed A6 notebook, 1 x a6 bound recycled paper notebook, 1 x leather bound A6 book from Italy with Fleur De Lys cover.
The Image MGL comprises (Left to right) Both the Leuchtturm notebooks, all three Guildhall, and both Moleskine notebooks, those with discolourations are the ones that have been used up the most, I find the edges of the page become darker the more they get used.
Images 496 to 501 are the flat images of the notebooks from the first image.
502 and 503 are the Brittanicus notebook, a thick pad of paper with beautiful maps on the bookmark and the cover, very good for putting maps together on.
504 is the two pages to a day Brepols Saturnus diary, huge at 33 cms tall and with enough space in them for any amount of writing. Sadly not available in England You have to go abroad for these.
505 is the insides of the SemiKolon book, the band on it snapped within days of getting it which was a real shame, but the paper inside is spectacular and comes in all different types within the same book.
506 is an end of line book from the pen shop, using leather bindings around aged looking paper, very atmospheric but I haven’t found a use for it yet.
507 to 517 are the Moleskin, Guildhall, and Leuchtturm notebooks, the Leuchtturm are the ones I presently use because the paper is of superior quality and the index appeals to my OCD…
518 and 519 are the string and leather bound recycled paper book, used as a journal for a character in a novel, the journal isn’t finished yet, even if the book is.
520 and 521 are a beautiful leather bound notebook my family brought me back from italy while they were on holiday, the paper is some of the best I’ve ever known, but the book isn’t mass produced and I’ve been unable to find another one since then.
522 to 525 are of a plain book with metal covers that was brought back at the same time as the leather book, very few pages and the paper is not good quality, but it is intriguing to write in.
526 to 530 are different images of the collection to give some idea of scale
Big thanks to John for sharing his addiction! You can read more from him at MillionWordMan.Blogspot.co.uk.