Rethinking - the notebook snob meets the humble composition notebook
The author takes another look at the venerable working person's notebook, accompanied by a side of humble pie
OK, I’ll have to admit it: I’m a notebook snob1. I have some strong opinions about: covers; paper size; number of pages and paper quality; and the layout of a notebook’s page.
Like many a youngish2 person, I’ve been seduced by the allure of the Moleskine notebook (alas, it was a fad for me), the touch and feel of heavier weight papers like you might find in a Dingbats* or Leuchtuurm1917 A5 notebook, and of course I went through a 7 ring (I mean 3 ring) binder phase in my youth.
(I fully believe that softcover notebooks are best used to compensate for a misplaced flyswatter or a newspaper deficit. I’m prepared to perish atop this hill.)
And indeed, I remain a huge fan of the Dingbats* and Leuchtuurm1917 notebooks. They hold treasured spots in my pen and paper utility belt. I sleep close to them at night3.
There’s two drawbacks with these beautiful, beautiful, wonderful notebooks, though:
Sometimes they are so beautiful to the look and touch that I’m loathe to actually write in them, for fear of creating a mess.
They are not inexpensive, not in the slightest.
I take a lot of notes during my day job. More like a huge amount of notes. On paper. As an experiment I started using several Dingbats* notebooks during the day job to see how they would work4 for me. After about 9 weeks of trials, I learned that I could fill up a 180 page notebook in about 3 weeks, plus or minus a few days. Unfortunately, when you factor in the cost of these notebooks, that’s like spending $1 - $2 per day on notebooks. Dingbats* are lovely, durable notebooks. But my work notes are not going to be enshrined in a museum for the ages5 and until I finally get that sponsorship from Dingbats* or Leuchtuurm19176, I probably need a different solution.
Enter the venerable composition notebook. For $1.507, I get 180 pages at that composition book size (larger than A5) with a reasonably durable hard cover. The paper is quite acceptable for writing and I really don’t care if I make a huge mess within because it’s relatively inexpensive8.
Based on the past couple of weeks of testing, I believe I can get by on one composition notebook per month. So this is pretty cool, to me, to consider what I’d potentially save. Plus I like the extra width of composition book pages.
Alas, my hard-covered beauties, you have a much more economical rival to compete against. But don’t worry, you’ll always have a place in my heart. And my desk. And my backpack. And on my shelves. And… so on.
Previous posts that are testaments to my notebook obsessions:
More about the history of the composition book:
History of the composition book
More history of the composition book (which may or may not contradict the first link)
Just a friendly reminder: May 3 will be the first anniversary of How About This! I’ll be giving away two notebooks to celebrate: one Dingbats* Wildlife series and one Leuchtuurm1917, both hard covered and A5 size. All subscribers are eligible to win!
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Actually more of an enthusiast but let’s go with the snob premise for the moment.
It’s all relative, one’s state of youngishness.
Actually that’s because there are bookshelves in the bedroom: nothing weird here!
I probably have a clause in my employment contract somewhere specifying that they’ll need to be shredded, burned and the ashes will need to be spread across the Atlantic Ocean.
I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Pick me!
Not including sales taxes, perhaps I should double the estimated cost…
And I’m the only one who needs to know!