THE   PERFECT   NOTEBOOK

 

If you know a writer or if you are a writer yourself then you are probably an expert on all things stationery with a special emphasis on notebooks.

 

What is it about a brand new notebook that is just so… well, perfect?  Is it the smooth feel of the paper or the gloss of a shiny new cover?  For me, and I think for many other writers, it’s the probably misplaced hope it offers.  Whenever I chose a new notebook (which I have to admit is far more often than it should be), I admire the look and feel of it, but I am also seeing the end product.  In my mind I can see this beautiful book full of handwritten words that are undoubtedly going to form part of my bestselling novel. I open the book at the first page and feel a surge of excitement as I pick up my pen.  This is it, this is the book where I am going to craft my novel. 

 

Sadly, it never seems to work out that way.  I write a few pages or maybe on a good day as many as 30 or 40 pages and then something stops me.  This could the overwhelming urge to eat, or the need to go out and earn some money but whatever it is, it brings the writing to an abrupt halt.  The book will lie sad and lonely on my desk or for the more adventurous books, in the bottom of my handbag waiting to be pulled out and used once again.  But it never happens.  The magic has died.  However, my need to carry on writing is still there so what do I do?  I rush to the stationery shop and buy yet another new notebook.

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Sometimes I end up looking through my stash (that could also be read as enough notebooks to open my own shop) and admire how many wonderful notebooks I have whilst trying not to think about the £100s I have spent buying them. 

 

Only my particular requirements for a notebook also change over time and this is probably why everyone I know is well stocked with notebooks.  As things currently stand, I have to have good quality paper, narrow ruled lines and preferably a cover that I will immediately fall in love with.  Anything that doesn’t meet these requirements is immediately surplus to requirements.  By that I don't mean that I'm going to throw them away, I mean that I have no idea what to do with them.  I don't want them but I don't seem to be able to get rid of them.  I once tried a car boot sale – yes, I had enough books to make it worthwhile and they were all pricey.  I decided to make things simple and sell anything that was A4 for £1 and anything smaller for 50p.  What is it with people?  They were getting great books for a knock down price but no.  They wanted them even cheaper.  A £1 was too expensive.  50p was too much so could they have two for that price!  Didn't these people realise how hard it was to see these books leave?  Didn't they realise that they were get an absolute bargain?  It wasn't a good day although I did manage to make quite a lot of room of my bookshelves.  It was also an experience that I didn't repeat.

 

As the years have passed, I do have to admit that I continue to buy notebooks but now they have to meet my very exacting requirements.  In fact, I am proud to say that I now five months without buying a notebook of any description.

 

In some ways this has worked in my favour because I know have the pleasure of actually having to hunt for my perfect notebook.  The good thing about this is that it means that I don't buy nearly as many notebooks as I used to and when I do buy one, I get really excited.  Is that sad?  Actually I don't think it is – after all this could be the notebook where I craft my bestselling novel…

 

And that leads me on to the virtue of having the perfect pen… but perhaps we should save that for another day.