Notebook Addict of the Year: Carmen

You might think April is a little early to be declaring a Notebook Addict of the Year. Well, I’m ashamed to say I have been trying to get this post ready for months, so it really should have gone up last year. But I’m not sure it even matters what year it is, because Carmen has to win the prize for notebook addict of the decade, or century!

You know how they say if you really love something, you let it go? That’s how much this notebook addict loves notebooks. She found all these fabulous items while traveling in France and Germany, and she sent them to me, to share with all the rest of you notebook fans. There are so many, I won’t even attempt full reviews of all, but there are plenty of photos below, and you can see larger versions of them on Flickr.


My favorite was the notebook below, from Rationella. I’d seen the brand mentioned online and was very excited to try one– it’s a Swedish brand, though this example was purchased in Germany. It’s got a clothbound cover that makes it similar to the HandBook Journal (shown here in blue), but it’s slightly smaller and thinner, and includes a pen loop. Rationella’s website says their products are produced according to “old bookbinding traditions,” and that comes through in this notebook– it just seems like a really nice, tight, good quality product.


Below is a German notebook, this one slightly taller than the usual pocket Moleskine size, shown next to it for comparison. It’s got deep notches that keep the elastic in place. The colored page edges are a neat touch. Here again, there’s also a pen loop on the edge.


This next one is pretty cool– like some of the notebooks sold by Levenger, it has pages that can be detached and then reinserted, keeping the slim format of a spiral notebook without the bulk added by the usual looseleaf rings of most refillable notebooks.


An attractive black and red journal:


This Le Zippe notebook is another one of my favorites. It can double as a wallet. I just love how different it is from anything else I’ve ever used– funky coloring and materials, and really practical features. I’m not sure how the plastic would hold up to being stuffed with a lot of cards and papers and money, but it would be worth a try!


The slipcased notebook below is interesting– it comes with its own pencil, but it’s a bit awkward to have to take out the notebook and then shake the pencil loose from deep within the slipcase.


This one reminds me of the Xonex notebooks you see in some shops in the USA. It’s a little taller and wider than a pocket Moleskine.


I didn’t realize TeNeues made any journals like this– they have other small notebooks that I’ve seen, as well as calendars and art books– this large notebook resembles a Moleskine, but with an embossed cover and silver page edges. Very snazzy.


Another German notebook, with two ribbon markers.


A slim exercise book, with a little cut-out in the cover


A basic lined notebook from Muji


Another thin exercise book:


A hardcover journal:


The whole pile again:


Whew, that is a lot of notebooks! I’m sure you can imagine how it felt to open a box filled with all these fabulous goodies. A HUGE thank you once again to Carmen– you are truly a notebook queen!

4 thoughts on “Notebook Addict of the Year: Carmen”

  1. The small red and black notebook looks like an excellent piece of work for contemporaneous note taking etc. What brand is it? Sincerely, Peter Luria,Esq.

  2. Peter, the red and black one is about 6 x8″, and the only brand identification is a little sticker on the back that says Karstadt. I’m not sure if that is a manufacturer or a retailer, but it was bought in Germany.

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