I’ve had this nagging feeling that I’d forgotten to do something… and I had! My Dec. 28 “random notebook giveaway” sort of slipped my mind in all the holiday craziness, but our winners are
Cesar– comment #120
Brian Tacik– comment #109
Thanks for all the wonderful comments, everyone!
This video has been making the rounds on Facebook and I just love it! Some notebooks and pens make a cameo appearance.
If you happen to be heading down under any time soon, there is an exhibition at the National Library of Australia in Canberra that you’ll definitely want to check out called “Handwritten.” It includes letters, diaries and other handwritten documents from the likes of Einstein, Beethoven, Galileo and more contemporary, Australian people like Nick Cave, whose diary is below:
Here’s the intro to the article about the exhibition, which I found rather chilling.
In Peter Carey’s award-winning novel True History of the Kelly Gang, the novelist metamorphosed into an archivist, claiming to be publishing 13 parcels of soiled and rust-stained papers supposedly written by Ned Kelly in the unmistakeable grammar and syntax we recognise from the bushranger’s famous Jerilderie Letter.
Kelly’s papers might have been damp and ripped, according to Carey’s artful deceit. But at least they could have endured feasibly for more than a century without seeming preposterous.
Compare that to Carey’s own manuscript. The Booker prize-winning author composed his novel on a laptop that is a prized item in the State Library of Victoria’s collection.
You can see the laptop. But what you cannot see, contemplate or critique is Carey’s manuscript – his revisions, different drafts, the substitution of one word for another, perhaps an entire passage angrily crossed out. All that compositional magic lies mouldering inside the machine, too delicate to access in case it is changed or lost.
Fortunately, the exhibition in Canberra is all about paper, with no laptops on display!
[Dr. Rachel Buchanan, a historian] believes no present writers or scientists could be included in an equivalent exhibition in 2112. ”We are on an abyss now. It’s a real turning point in the discussion about what archives are, and what can actually be kept.”
Let’s hope some writers are still printing out drafts!
Read more: Writer’s craft is now a ghost in the machine.
Having seen Endgame and Waiting for Godot, I’d have to admit that I find these notebooks much more interesting than Beckett’s actual plays!
Another amazing example of an illustrated Moleskine journal:
See more at One year moleskine #12 | nicoz goes west.
I went through a phase in the late 1990s when my notebook obsession was relatively dormant, because my lust for handheld data receptacles of a certain size and shape had displaced itself onto the Palm Pilot and its various descendents. PDAs were my addiction then: I bought (and resold) about 15 different models over about 10 years, and there’s probably no website that was more responsible for stoking my techno-desires than The Gadgeteer, Julie Streitelmeier’s excellent gadget review blog. In recent years, Palm has faded and though I love my iPhone, I have never been quite as “into it” as I was with Palm devices. I went back to being more excited by paper, but I still keep an eye out for what Julie and her team of writers are reviewing, and I was thrilled to see that the “gadgets” that Julie loves include notebooks! Check out this stash:
I’m currently obsessed with trying to find a perfect way to keep a daily journal on my iPhone, iPad or good old paper. I think paper is going to win the battle, but I’m not sure buying a bazillion notebooks is helping. In the process, I’ve become a notebook addict…
Yup, she’s a notebook addict!
If even committed technophiles can’t resist the call of notebooks, I think there’s still hope that pen, pencil and paper will survive whatever new digital innovations arise! So glad you posted this, Julie– I always knew you were a kindred spirit!
Read more at Julie’s Gadget Diary 11-20-11 — The Gadgeteer.
Here’s something that will ring a bell for many of you, as it did for me. It’s amazing how you can lose track of your tidying up when you get lost in the memories that old notebooks conjure up!
So here it is another new year, and here I am once again, picking up and cleaning up, getting rid of the old to make way for the new, editing and shredding, filing and piling, giving away and throwing away – all in an effort to tidy up the past to make room for the future.
It’s a daunting task.
I am not a collector, but you live long enough and you end up collecting things. Handprints your kids made when they really were kids. Greeting cards that go back 50 years….
… And notebooks. Dozens and dozens of notebooks.
I started with the notebooks, because boxes full of them are crowding my office: white reporter notebooks, which I have been using for 35 years.
They live in cardboard boxes, 2006 mixed in with 1985 and 1992 and 2001.
The wheat from the chaff. That was my goal. That’s all I had to do. Look inside these notebooks, give them a cursory read and decide what to keep and file, and what to throw way.
But it’s all daunting. Cleaning up and organizing, staying focused and on task – impossible, because here’s the thing. You cannot look through notebooks or greeting cards or books or records or even a drawer full of scarves without losing your direction.
You may be aiming for the future, eyes on a clutter-free tomorrow, heart in the right direction, but then you stumble upon a sentence, or a signature, or remember a song and where you were and who you were when you first heard it. Or you hold a knitted scarf in your hands and see the sweet 11-year-old who knitted it for you, her first real scarf, and all of a sudden you’re not looking at the future anymore, you’re not even in the present. You’ve been hijacked to Memory Lane.
I spotted Wild & Wolf’s Qwerty line of products in a local store and just loved the idea: notebooks and other products with old style typewriter motifs! I contacted the company and they were kind enough to send me not only a sample Qwerty journal, but another funky notebook as well. Let’s take a look:
The Qwerty Journal looks at first like your standard moleskine-type notebook– black hardcover, 3.5 x 5.5″ size, elastic closure, ribbon marker. But you have only to look at it the right way to see what makes it unique. The cover material is smoother than a Moleskine, and it’s etched with a typewriter keyboard design that wraps around the front and back covers and spine. I love the black-on-black design.
When you open the notebook, it gets even better: colorful endpapers with retro typewriter images!
The ribbon marker is red and reads “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”
Other than these features, the notebook is very similar to others out there. It feels slightly larger and chunkier than a pocket Moleskine (shown for comparison below)– it’s more similar to the heft of a Rhodia Webnotebook.
The binding opens nice and flat. The lined paper feels good with all my usual pens, but my Pilot Varsity fountain pen bled and feathered a bit. In general, bleed-through and show-through were slightly worse than average.
So this notebook isn’t for the fountain pen stickler, but it would make a great gift, especially if paired with some of the matching accessories, which include bags and pencil cases (at least I’ve seen these in stores– they don’t seem to be available on the company’s website as of this writing).
The other notebook I got was the Rob Ryan “I Am The Notebook Of…” journal. Again, I love the design– no black on black this time, instead it’s a light-hearted whimsical look in turquoise, white and yellow.
The art is based on intricately cut paper– charming and technically impressive! I didn’t test the paper in this one but it’s unlined, with a nice creamy tone to it. The cover is cardboard boards with the colored artwork pasted over it. And there are beautiful endpapers too! The size is a bit larger than a pocket Moleskine.
It’s very lovely and I’m tempted to keep it, but instead I’m going to give it away to some lucky, randomly selected winner who enters in one of the ways below:
On Twitter, tweet something containing “Wild & Wolf” and follow and “@NotebookStories.”
On Facebook, “like” the Notebook Stories page and post something containing the words “Wild & Wolf” on my wall.
On your blog, post something containing the words “Wild & Wolf” and “NotebookStories” and link back to this post.
The deadline for entry is Friday Jan. 6 at 11:59PM, EST. Good luck everyone!