Category Archives: Rite in the Rain

Softcover and Single-Signature Notebooks from My Collection

On my “to-do” list for this blog has been a comparison of various notebooks in similar styles. I thought I’d do a post about softcover notebooks, and one about single-signature notebooks, similar to Field Notes and Moleskine Cahiers. So I went rooting around in my collection to find various examples of these styles, but the results were a bit daunting:

softcover and cahier1

Not only did I find a rather large number of notebooks, I discovered that there’s kind of grey area between these two styles, so I ended up arranging them in a sort of continuum of variations, from thicker softcover notebooks, through thinner squared-spine ones, to the thinnest single-signature ones with stitched or stapled bindings.

From left, we have the “The II” notebook bought at Kinokuniya, red Piccadilly notebook, softcover Piccadilly notebook, white Conceptum notebook from Germany, Zequenz notebook, Leonardo pocket journal from Papyrus, Fabio Ricci notebook bought in Turkey, Soundless Soliloquy notebook from Etsy, a notebook bought in a museum shop in Portugal, Book Factory pocket notebook, Rendr sketchbook, Canson XL sketchbook, Daler Rowney Ivory sketchbook, Pocket Dept notebook, Rhodia Unlimited notebook, yellow graph paper notebook with green cloth spine from Turkey, Federal Supply Memorandum book, Moleskine Volant, Rite in the Rain waterproof notebook, Clairefontaine notebook from the early 1990s, slipcased German notebook and pencil from Carmen, another old Clairefontaine notebook, a more recent Clairefontaine notebook, Moleskine Cahier, Banditapple Carnet, Miro journals, fluorescent Field Notes given to me by a reader, white notebook from Deyrolle in Paris, Kikkerland Writersblok notebook, Moleskine Cahier decorated by me with stamps, Noted graph paper notebook from Target, Filou notebook bought in Turkey, Northern Central Co. Memorandum book from the late ’70s/early ’80s, Ink Journal, polkadot notebook from Portugal, black school quaderno from Vickerey, white promotional notebook from, (at this point the order gets scrambled in some of the later photos) black Doane Paper Utility Notebook, pale green Bound Custom Journal Memo, HitList notebook, OrangeArt Tattersall notebook, Artescrita 4-pack from Portugal, boxed Calepino notebooks, Word. notebook, Halaby Aero Flightbook, and Hahnemuhle Travel Booklets. Whew! I thought I had also included one other little graph paper stapled notebook that I bought in Portugal, but I can’t spot it in the photos– maybe it’s buried under there somewhere!

softcover and cahier2softcover and cahier3softcover and cahier4softcover and cahier5softcover and cahier6softcover and cahier7softcover and cahier8softcover and cahier9


And of course this isn’t even all the softcover notebooks in my collection. It’s also worth noting that of all these notebooks, the only ones that have actually been used even partially (other than pen tests for reviews) are the two old black/grey Clairefontaine notebooks and the Northern Central Memorandum book. I have other Moleskine Volant and Kikkerland Writersblok notebooks that I have used, but they weren’t the ones in these photos. I will probably use some of the graph paper and plain paper notebooks in the future. I ended up feeling like it was impossible to compare and contrast the features of so many different notebooks, but almost all of them have been photographed and described in more detail in other posts on this site already.

What’s your favorite softcover notebook?

Filson Horween Leather Notebook Covers

This looks like a rather nice notebook cover– it even comes with a custom Rite in the Rain notebook. But Filson is a high-end brand, and this is pretty high-end pricing: $110 for the 5×7″ size!


Via Filson Horween Leather Notebook Covers – Photos • Selectism.

Notebook Addict of the Week: Joe

This week’s addict emailed me the photo below, and added these comments:

The attached photo is of my notebook collection.  Being in the military I take 2 or 3 pages of notes everyday.  I carry a large rite in the rain. They are very durable in both design and paper quality. I have a moleskine in my cargo pocket and a Letts daily planner as well. Daily use at home and as I travel about Europe I have a moleskine in my pocket or at least within reach always. My favorite are the pocket size squared. The moleskine got this addiction started.  I love your blog and check it daily.

addict joe

I love this collection– some of the notebooks look nicely overstuffed– gets me every time! And we share a preference for pocket sized squared notebooks. Given that Joe is in the military, I’m slightly surprised he doesn’t have more of the standard issue green Federal Supply Service notebooks, but any true notebook addict couldn’t limit himself to those, even if they’re super cheap! Thanks for sharing your addiction, Joe!

Notebook Addict of the Week: Anke

This week’s addict is from Holland, and sent this picture of her collection, or rather, part of it:


“I’ve been a fan of your site for a long time and for an equally long time I’ve been wanting to send you a picture of my own collection. What was holding me back was a sense of fear to admit to myself how big the collection actually is. And that with that realisation would come a resolution to stop buying new ones. But then I figured … we all need a hobby, right?
The ones in the picture are all new. I have another collection of used notebooks, but not quite as large as this one.”

Great collection! I spy Rhodia, TeNeues, Oxford, Cambridge, Clairefontaine, Cavallini, Rite in the Rain, Moleskine and others I can’t identify. Thanks for sharing your addiction, Anke, and I hope you’re still letting yourself buy new ones!

Notebook Addict of the Week: Julie

Julie emailed me a link to a blog post she wrote about how she’s always been a collector of one thing or another, but usually those collections are just passing fancies. However, she notes, “notebooks are a different story.”

I love notebooks. Not only are they useful but they are so pretty too. They combine their usefulness with design that often speaks to or reflects my other interests. So I buy them, I seek them out, I hoard them, I treasure them. I’m not a good writer and I’m not a consistent writer. I have started a journal about a 100 times and I always forget about it or ignore it. But every time I want to start anew I have a shiny new notebook ready….So here’s a pretty good sample of my unused notebooks, those still waiting for a purpose. A few I have tried briefly and set aside for another day, when I can make a more serious commitment to them or when I find a use for them that matches their beauty.

Read the full post here and see more of her notebook photos here.

Fabulous collection with lots of variety (I spy Moleskine, Field Notes, Rite in the Rain, a Wild & Wolf Qwerty, and Zequenz, among others), and I like the skateboard backdrop too! Thanks for sharing your addiction Julie!

New Homes

… for me and my notebooks! I’ve been posting a little less frequently lately because I’ve been very busy preparing for a move to a new home. My notebooks, of course, are all coming with me, and I’ve been trying to organize them better in the process. For years, I’ve stored them all in shoeboxes, some of which were starting to break down a bit, so I decided to try using larger under-bed plastic boxes. Here’s one of them:

I also got a larger wheeled box for bigger sketchbooks. I’m not sure I’ll stick with this approach– for one thing, all these plastic boxes have angled sides, so they aren’t as efficient as I’d like for storing notebooks. A larger box like this also gets really heavy when it’s stuffed with notebooks! I am always saving shoeboxes so I may end up transferring some notebooks back into newer, sturdier ones, we’ll see… My old apartment had more closet shelves where I could store all my boxes of notebooks, but in my new space, I have to spread them around a bit more– some in a cabinet, some on a shelf, and some under the bed.

Where do you store your notebooks?

Notebook Addict of the Week: A Penchant for Paper

This week’s addict is Heather at A Penchant for Paper. I really enjoyed her post about her system of using multiple notebooks, including the ones below:

“I have multiple notebooks, multiple pens and pencils, and multiple pen cases, all of them equally stuffed full, and I still find myself acquiring more, although not quite as much these days as I once did. However, I have gradually developed something of a notebook system: a series of notebooks, each with a distinct use.”

An interesting variety of sizes and shapes and colors and brands, each used for different purposes in ways that have changed over time. I love all the details she shared about the evolution of her notebook system!

Read more at A Penchant for Paper: My Notebook System.

Notebook Addict of the Week: Jose Silva

This week’s addict posted the image below on Flickr:

A nice collection, with Rite in the Rain, Moleskine (cahiers and regular), Rhodia, Paperblanks and Miquelrius.

He’s also written about his notebook choices here.

See the original image and comments at Notebooks – never enough.

Notebooks All Around: A Look at (Some of) My Collection

Today I thought I’d just share some photos of various parts of my notebook collection and where they are scattered around my apartment:

Below is a corner of my office where I was going through boxes of notebooks and had stashed some used ones that needed to be put away. There are a few months of daily notebooks, notebooks already reviewed, notebooks to be reviewed, and some childhood notebooks. (All of these have now been put back in a closet– I try to keep the notebook clutter under control!)


A close-up of some of the daily notebooks. I write the dates they cover on the bottom.


On top of my file cabinet: some stray samples to be given away someday, and some stuff already reviewed, and a small looseleaf binder I used many years ago that I’ll do a post on at some point.


Here’s the shelves in one of my closets: shoeboxes full of small notebooks, and stacks of larger journals and sketchbooks.



Here on a bookshelf are my Moleskine City Notebooks (though I’ve since bought more). Amsterdam is the only one in this stack that I haven’t used yet. The others are New York, London, Paris, Istanbul and Lisbon.


And finally, this is the stack of notebooks-in-waiting I keep in my desk. These are all notebooks that have made the cut as ones I like enough to use as daily notebooks or sketchbooks at some point (mostly Moleskines, HandBook Journals, Piccadillies, and a couple of others). I’m not worried about running out at the moment… but only because I have an additional stack of spares elsewhere!


There are close to 100 notebooks visible in these photos, not counting the ones in the unopened shoeboxes and additional notebooks I have stored elsewhere. Welcome to my world!

Notebook Addict of the Week: Jason

This week’s addict displays this nice neat pile of some of his “secret obsession”– notebooks:

Ever since I started drawing, I have been fascinated by books of blank white pages, i.e. Sketchbooks. A book devoid of all content, just waiting to be filled with anything. Throughout highschool I carried a sketchbook with me at all times after a friend of mine was doing the same. Granted, he drew more than I did and filled many books over the span of highschool, I only managed to filled mine half way. When I went to art school, I of course had to go to the school’s book store to get all of my books, not knowing that the same store was also the art supply store. Against one wall was stack after stack of empty, black, hardbound sketchbooks of all sizes and types. I was in heaven….

Read more at My Secret Obsession: Notebooks & Pens.