Here’s something fun that I came across. We can all identify with how the writer feels to discover she’s not the only one obsessed with notebooks… but who knew Jimmy Buffett was a blank book collector!?
I collect blank books. When I discovered that Jimmy Buffett has a trunk full of blank books he’s collected over the years which are still, well, blank, I realized my dirty little secret wasn’t quite as shameful as I thought.
Isn’t it funny how comforting it is to find just one person out of the billions on our planet who exhibits your own particular brand of obsession? Knowing I was not alone gave me permission to buy even more blank books. Really, you just never know when you might need one.
Read more at Questioning my Intelligence: Trial by Blank Book.
One of my favorite things is finding little-seen images from the notebooks of artists, writers and scientists. This one is a gem, as Edward Hopper is one of my favorite painters, yet I don’t recall ever having looked at any of the sketches for his works. I love how it seems to have been drawn on ledger paper, or some other kind of lined notebook that obviously wasn’t intended to be an artist’s sketchbook. Hopper did illustration work for magazines and ad agencies before he became successful as a painter, so I rather like the idea that he might have done this sketch during a free moment, using whatever office supplies were at hand.
Read more at Edward Hopper’s Sketchbook | A Piece of Monologue: Literature, Philosophy & Critical Theory.
If you live in London, you might want to join the Stationery Club. Here’s what a self-described Moleskine Fangirl has to say about a meeting she attended, and her own notebook preferences:
“Is it a real club?” Yes. A real-life, lots of people in a bar, scaring the non-stationery normals out of the room type club. It looked like there were more than thirty of us upstairs at the Horse and Groom. I’m not quite sure what I’d expected but yes, it was a semi-serious, question-led discussion which only occasionally descended into drunken chatter, rowdiness and generously traded insults.
“Did you really talk about stationery for two hours?” And the rest. We left about 9:30 because we were ravenous, but I think conversation and debate continued on. There was voting. It was awesomely good fun.
The topic of choice was the Notebook and it was always going to descend into mayhem when the word Moleskine came up. Firstly as to whether they’re made of real moleskin, and should we choose a pronounciation? Or go with the slightly affected ‘Mo-lay-skeen-ay’ in tribute to the the Johnny-come-lately Italian company who’ve reissued them? They used to be produced by family businesses in Paris until 1986. Is its success a triumph of marketing? Surely nobody buys into the schlocky story that they peddle with the books – that it was beloved of Bruce Chatwin, Ernest Hemmingway et al. Meh, who cares? Instead, look at the practical, stylish Muji number which was championed at the meeting – typical thoughtful Japanese design which includes a plastic pocket for cards, two elastics and dotted paper (ooooooh) for versatility. It was popular, for sure…
But I’m going to be honest. Even though I’m not quite sure why, I’m a roaring Moleskine fangirl (Clairefontaine being my second choice). First and foremost because I’ve always liked the stock (though I’ve had issues with the soft-cover A5 folio and bleed-through recently) and paper is always the first and foremost consideration in buying a notebook for me. I’ve got quite the collection in current rotation – currently using the red 18-month week to view diary, the monthly planner for work, various sizes of A6 and A5 black ruled hardcovers for notes, red large cahier journals for writing projects and black ones for morning pages.
Read more at Stationery Club and Confessions of a Moleskine Fangirl « One Million Gold Stars.
Here’s another simultaneous multi-notebook user, though I didn’t think she was quite at the level of being an addict.
Wendy is a jewelry and metal artist, and here’s what she had to say about her notebooks:
“Why so many?” you ask. Each notebook was bought for a specific purpose, either a class, for use as a guestbook, etc. but ended up as a place to jot things down. Also, they are different sizes, some to fit in my work bag and the big one is great for mind mapping. The sketchbook duality is because I lost one sketchbook, bought another, and then found the first. They travel around the house and take turns in the studio. I plan on only using one at a time in the future.
Read more at Notebooks, Notebooks Everywhere! « Hammermarks.
Here’s a shop to add to your travel itinerary if you’re hitting the West coast: Rare Device, a funky shop in San Francisco (they used to have a location in Brooklyn too, but alas, it closed).
Here’s a couple of favorites spotted on their website:
A colorful notebook by O-Check:
And this is the birch tree notebook I recently saw at McNally Jackson, which turns out to be created by the owner of Rare Device:
I’m glad I’m not the only person who has dreams about notebooks! This reminds me so much of the kind of weird, elaborate dreams that I have sometimes:
I was at a lecture in some auditorium. There were no chairs, and everyone was sitting on the floor. I was sitting next to a very beautiful woman. She had dark skin, and thick, dark, wavy hair, but no definable racial characteristics. She was one of those women who didn’t have a great body, but just had the most beautiful face.
The lecture was about Moleskine notebooks. It was all about how to use them to make notes about things, and how to use systems of symbols to condense the notes. The lady started the lecture on a stage with a green blackboard, and then came into the audience to use one of the audience member’s Moleskine’s as an example.
The beautiful woman with me tells me about a Moleskine that a friend of hers had. Somehow I know that this friend was an older white man, with greying hair, that she was attracted to. Her friend took notes the way the lecture was suggesting, with a half page key to the symbols he used.
I tell her about a guy a met on the National Mall. It takes me a second to think of the word … he was an entomologist. He made notes in his Moleskine about all the bugs he found on the Mall, with sketches and notes using symbols in the same way. When I was done telling her about this, the auditorium was gone and we were all sitting on the National Mall.
Connection with Reality: On weekdays I write notes about my dreams while I take the bus to the Metro. I write them in a small Moleskine notebook.
Read more at Craig Dreams: The Moleskine Lecture.
Here’s an interesting concept– using a separate notebook for every project you work on. Depending on how you work and what kind of notebooks you like, it could be unwieldy or impractical, but in this case, we seem to be talking about graphic design projects in small Moleskine cahiers or Volants, and the user says “So far it’s working brilliantly.”
Noisy Decent Graphics: One Notebook Per Project.
More notebooks from the world of literature, this time from Henry Miller, the author of the sexy and scandalous (at least for their time) Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn. I think I read both books when I was in college, but now I can’t remember a thing about them! But it does look like Miller kept some interesting journals:
See more at The Hands (and Notebooks and Little Black Book) of Henry Miller.
Here’s a Moleskine-ish notebook with a bold, graphic look, sold by a company that seems to mainly focus on clothes for skateboarders (or people who want to look like skateboarders). Supreme must be a super-trendy brand, as a Japanese retailer sells these notebooks for almost $40 each!
Unlike most notebooks, these have an embossed brand logo on the front cover instead of the back. The paper band design reminds me of the artist Barbara Kruger‘s style… actually, someone should do notebooks with her artwork on them– hello, MoMA store?!?
Via Supreme Notebooks « Individual Sole.
See more on Barbara Kruger at Artsy.