What am I looking for in a perfect notebook? I’ve been looking for years. In that time I’ve come to desire ten things from my book. Perfect notebook you have to be:
1) Not too fancy
There are writers who only write in moleskin books. If my notebook were that nice, I’d never dare write anything in it for fear of spoiling it.
2) Not too cheap
There’s the other extreme. If it says ‘A5 Ruled Notebook’ on the cover it has no soul and I can’t take it seriously.
3) Not too big
It needs to be A5 or just below. Mostly because it has to fit in my handbag.
4) Not too thick
I don’t want to lug some hulking brick of a phone directory about everywhere I go. My keys are heavy enough!
5) Not too small
The problem is they’re just too lovely and quite frankly too tiny to write in. If I wrote and rewrote a poem I’d have to use 16 pages or more of one of these tiny books. How is that sustainable? I’d have millions of little notebooks all over the place all with different things in them and what if I needed to go back to something. Do I just wheel around a trolley full of them in case?
6) Without false claims
If it says ‘Great Ideas’ on the cover I’d feel like I was betraying the book if I wrote anything normal like a to-do list. Plus I’d feel like a show off whenever I took it out of my bag. Writing is hard enough as it is without notebook imposed barriers.
7) Soft but not too soft
This is mainly due to point 4 about weight but I do use hardbacks. I just prefer covers to be somewhere in between solid and flimsy.
My writing is messy. My brain works faster than my hand so in a bid to keep up my writing gets even more messy. I need something to help rein it in. Give me height restrictions at least. Lines are essential.
9) With a little elastic band
I love those bands. Picture going in to your bag to find pages of your notebook have folded in on themselves or worse still there’s a stowaway satsuma skin hiding in there. Elastic bands keep out stowaways and also can be used as a book mark. Multifunctional.
10) A notebook that makes me smile
I need to love it. I need to want to open it, want to carry it, want to write in it. I will make compromises on some points if point 10 stands. Like my new notebook, there’s no little elastic band. But it’s covered in woodland creatures and right now I’m writing a few things featuring woodland creatures. So I like it enough to get past the fear of potential stowaways:
The story behind why I’m writing this blog is I’m finding it hard to say goodbye to my last notebook. I realise now he might have been just perfect for me:
Stitches on the outside - I love that you can see how he’s made. That thought bubble was so full of promise – asking to be filled but with no false claims. He’s aged well and I like him better for it. Aged by ideas, meetings, hopes, achievements, workshops, figures, prayers and to do lists. My life in simple ticks and now all so shabby chic. I added the Charles Rennie Mackintosh turquoise rose paperclip.. okay it might be just a swirl but I like to think of it as art in stationery form. I need to show you inside too – secret stripes!:
Feels like I’m being unfaithful. He has to watch while the newer, more shiny woodland creatures model takes his place. Touched less and less, needed less and less.
What I want to say, beloved notebook is you were and are perfect. The perfect notebook.