Tuesday, December 8, 2009

What to do with a new notebook?

It's an old story: I was in the campus bookstore to buy a glue stick.  Glue stick in hand, I thought that I had not walked all the way across campus to spend thirty seconds in the store, so I might as well look around.  Fate led me to the clearance shelf at the back of the store, where I spied one lonely and forgotten Quo Vadis Habana notebook, only slightly shelf-worn.

I picked it up, thinking that I already had more notebooks than I knew what to do with, but it wouldn't hurt just to look, right?  It had a smooth black cover and creamy, unlined pages and fit nicely into my hand.  I paused for a moment, contemplating the notebook in my hand and the empty spot on the shelf.  I turned towards the front of the store and then back towards the shelf.  Then, without further hesitation, I turned again and headed decisively towards the checkout.

So now I have one more notebook on my shelf.  What will I do with it?

I already have two ordinary written journals, two art journals, and two planners, as well as various other notebooks being used for school notes, writing down favourite poems and quotations, keeping track of the books I am reading, as well as for just making random notes, scribbles, and doodles.  In fact, I have been thinking lately that I need less notebooks rather than more, as part of my attempts to simplify my life.

But the new Quo Vadis Habana remains, haunting me with its clean, unmarked, tantalizing pages...  Should I just keep it for the future?  One possible use that I have in mind would be that of a commonplace book.  I have recently discovered an excellent two-part article (Part I and Part II) on commonplace books at D*I*Y Planner.  I would love to try that idea out, but this notebook, with its small size and unlined pages, may not be the best option.  Perhaps it would be better suited to a pocket-sized, portable sketchbook?  Or perhaps I could use it to write poetry in.  Or perhaps to keep notes on the books that I am reading, and lists of books I want to read in the future.  Or perhaps...


  1. "pocket-sized, portable sketchbook" would be my pick.
    One can never have too many of those ;)

  2. Thanks, B2-kun and Woodworker, for your comments!

  3. Oh, I'm so addicted to notebooks! A notebook for this and a notebook for that and one for the road. Ah irrestible. But how then to keep track of all the notebooks?

  4. Ah, that is indeed a good question. Perhaps yet another notebook as a "master" notebook?

  5. I have a pocket-size Quo Vadis Habana that I was fondling just this morning :). I've only used a few pages in it and I haven't quite decided what to do with the rest of it. The paper feels fantastic and they're great with fountain pen ink, but there is a little bit of show through.
    And while it is much nicer for writing than moleskine paper, the paper isn't at all tolerant of getting wet, which the moleskine is surprisingly ok with. I really want to use it though.

    -dream journal?
    -poetry only?
    -secret things I don't write in my normal diary?

    It's begging to get used.

  6. We investigated what we thought were the pefect sizes for pocket notebooks and desk notebooks before starting to hand make them. It seems it is actually a very personal thing but we use 9.2cm wide x 14.4cm high with 176 pages and 13.7cm wide x 21.5cm high with 120 pages. They just seem to work and also feel just right.


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