This week’s addict had to be upgraded to Addict of the Month. Paul has been a faithful reader and correspondent for quite a while now, sharing not only photos of his own notebooks, but links to historical notebooks and other interesting trivia. Did you know, for instance, that the last entry in Samuel Pepys’ diary was dated May 31, 1669? According to Paul, who celebrates the day as a special one for diarists, Pepys “discontinued his journal (begun New Year’s Day 1660) because he feared (mistakenly) he was going blind. So, every May 31 is the day that I feel I must post a blog entry, or write in my holographic diary, even if I abandon it all other times.”
More from Paul on his history with notebooks:
I’ve been a diarist since I was in fifth grade (I just turned 47). Unfortunately, all my diaries from fifth grade (1974) until I dropped out of college (1989) vanished when I stored them in a storage locker I didn’t keep paying for. Since resuming on New Year’s Day 1990, I’ve used legal ledgers, spiral notebooks, Write-in-the-Rain, and, more recently composition books (inspired partly, I admit, by JOE GOULD’S SECRET, SE7EN, and HENRY FOOL.) I turn 50 in 2013, and I have decided I will switch to bound legal ledgers (Boorum & Pease and/or Avery) at that point.
Here are various photos of some of Paul’s notebooks:
As for historical notebooks, Paul shared these, as well as some others I’ll feature in future posts:
These are in display cases on the first floor of the William Oxley Thompson Library at Ohio State University. These are notebooks included in this display.
The first two pictures (100_0283.jpg and 100_0284.jpg) are the work notebooks and rough drafts of William Vollmann’s gigantic novel Europe Central.
The other two are the field notebooks of Dr. Richard Goldthwait (1911-1992), professor of geology at OSU.
Many thanks to Paul for sharing his love of notebooks! You can follow Paul’s blog at Melville at the Customs-House.