Wednesday, April 29, 2009

of notebooks, and pens, and so forth...

As my family know only too well, I am a notebook addict. That is, "notebook" as in "journal" as in "diary" but not the kind with too little space per day and a non-brother-proof lock.

In fact for much of the last 25 years I have been unable to pass a stationery store without checking out what may be on offer in the shape of a nice journal.

And I'm fussy. No coil bindings, thank you; a sewn binding if possible. Paper with a surface that will accommodate a fountain-pen without getting all smudgy. Just the right spacing of lines, not too narrow, not too elementary-embarrassing wide. A nice but not too pictorial cover; black imitation morocco is ideal. Other colours if available. Between 150 and 200 pages, all firmly attached. and ideally about 6 inches by 9 inches, so that it can fit in the outside pocket of my smaller really, and not too much larger.

IT SEEMS LITTLE ENOUGH TO ASK. There was a supplier in the former Czechoslovakia who got it exactly right ("Pragotrade" if you're interested). Seems to have disappeared. East Asian substitutes, not so satisfactory.

But in the last two weeks I have branched out,and purchased a new product from our Mega-Barn office supplies retailer. These notebooks are manufactured from sugarcane waste, apparently -- "bagasse" is the technical term.

And I am using one to write down EVERY COTTON-PICKING THING, in a DONE-DID list instead of a TO DO list. The effect on morale is...electric. I can see the top of my desk. There are no visible horrible pink phone slips. My vital signs are all happy and peaceful.

Even more gloriously, having scuttled all the horrible little bits of paper on my desk, I can find my PENS also! And ensure that they all have tops! and ink! (all the better to write in the Bagasse Notebook with)

So here I'll be, all skilled up and so forth, just in time to retire!


Evelyn said...

Ah, how many such journals do I have, all started with much enthusiasm, only to be left about one-quarter filled. What a good idea, to write a "done-did" list, instead of a to-do list! That sounds much more rewarding!

I've heard folks say that "crossing the items OFF the list feels so rewarding". I can't seem to enjoy that unless it is the LAST item, and of course I never get to the last one. :)

Kathryn said...

I'm with Evelyn - lots of lovely notebooks pining to help me organise my life but sitting instead in sad heaps amid the chaos...
And you have to know what it is that you should have done before you can add it joyfully to the Done Did list.
Sorry - I'm light years behind you in this evolutionary train..

Tim Chesterton said...

I like moleskins myself.