Notebooks are one thing which I just don't skimp on- they are an exquisite luxury which I use to both document and plan my life. The last two years are stored within the cream pages of about twenty Moleskines.
By the time each one is finished, the cover is scuffed, the spine is bent, the elastic struggles not to snap, and every page is filled with my illegible handwriting. I am willing to pay a little (okay, a lot) more for them because cheap notebooks don't survive the battering that they always get. I have tried numerous other brands and without exception, the pages soon come loose or the spine snaps.
I bought my first Moleskine about two years ago and have since been a committed member of their cult following.
That impeccable quality is what makes Moleskines so beautiful. Even though the company is fairly new, they feel like something from another era, before words could be typed. My fountain pen glides over the smooth paper. Writing by hand is somehow calming.
Notebooks somehow come to represent far more than their physical form. They are simple. When I write, it is just me, the paper and a pen. Everything melts away as I listen to the scratch of the nib overlaying my thoughts.
There is no backspace or spellcheck, none of my meticulous editing or revising. Think. Write. Pause. Repeat. On and on until there are no words left for the day. Efficiency is never a concern.
Their contents are too varied to list; diary entries (as you might expect), notes from classes, transcripts of TED talks, lyrics, poems, tickets, collages, stickers, leaves, pressed flowers, tea bag packaging, ribbons, receipts, letters, messages from friends, postcards and doodles.
I won't pretend that they are full of deep insights or wild ideas. Most pages consist of anxiety fuelled, rambling rants. A stranger, upon reading them, would not know much about my external life. The contents predominantly reflect my internal world. They trace my path through an unusually bad period of depression last year- notebooks where the handwriting shrinks, lines overlap and I reference The Pixies again and again ('Where is my mind?') Eventually, the letters become clearer and the outside world starts to gently creep into each entry again.
Stationary is one area where I let myself hoard, spend more than necessary, and be sentimental. Everything else in my life is minimal and organised, save for these books. The irony is that the messier my notebooks are, the tidier my life tends to be.
It feels odd to write about them so publicly considering how fiercely I usually guard them.
What is your favorite piece of stationary? Let me know in the comments below!