Friday, 30 October 2009

NOTEBOOK LOVERS UNITE!



Ah notebooks, how I love thee.

We’ve got a new shop in Galway and I went in and bought two pretty notebooks yesterday. Irresistibly beautiful tiny notebooks that fit in a jeans pocket and have a little elastic band to hold in stray bits of paper – my favourite kind.

I gave a talk to the new BA in Creative Writing students in NUI Galway yesterday about the writing life. On the way home on the train I realised I had forgotten to tell them to buy the smallest, most beautiful notebook they could find and carry it with them always. I thought this as I took my new notebooks from the bag and flicked through them admiringly. Practically salivating.

It struck me, though, that I have somewhat of a notebook mountain. Not just full notebooks but empty ones. Like most writers (female writers?) I have a stationery fetish and I buy notebooks fecklessly and recklessly. It doesn’t matter if they are expensive or that I have plenty of blank notebooks already, I will always buy more. They call to me from the shelf: ‘Buy me, buy me.’ And I oblige.

So, I decided to actually count the blank notebooks, just to see. Oh dear. There are 23 blank notebooks, that I could find. There are more lurking in my house. Anyone else out there similarly afflicted?

22 comments:

Kar said...

Oh N, I too have a notebook fetish. I like to collect them from different countries I visit. There is a small ever growing mountain, I must count them. I can’t help buying them. I have A5 sized ones for workshops, I only ever seem to get three quarters the way through and I move on to a newer one. I have smaller ones for carrying around.
I often pick up an old handbag and there in the inside pocket is a little notebook with descriptions of places, food, people, overheard conversations etc. The excitement when I find one I’d forgotten about!
Viva La Notebook, I LOVE them!

Aidan said...

I've been in IT too long methinks. I read your headline and automatically assumed that you were posting apot notebooks as in laptops, oh medears....

WOMEN RULE WRITER said...

Kar - Ditto on the countries.
I have some of mine so long it's like they are holy relics that can't be sullied with nonsensical note-taking...

Aidan - oh dear - the thought never even occurred to me. What I did think though was maybe people will think I mean the film!

Una said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE Notebooks! I don't even have the excuse of being a writer. I also don't have as many as you but they lie blankly in my drawer begging to be written in. Mine are mostly gifts, I cannot justify buying them when I know I won't use them. I keeping meaning to use one to write general ramblings of the day instead of boring lists of "Things to do" which is what usually goes into them. I have taken notes in a loverly notebook in the past, just for company on solitary long journeys,it was hilarious reading back on them. Must do this again!

WOMEN RULE WRITER said...

Oh yes, Úna, nothing like the notebook-as-journal. The only time I keep a diary anymore is when I travel. I love reading back over them - it's amazing what you forget.

Jessica Maybury said...

absolutely! I have a full-blown fetish. And what makes it worse is that people KNOW this, and therefore buy me notebooks for my birthday or Christmas so there's a paper mountain. A beautiful, beautifully-smelling paper mountain.

WOMEN RULE WRITER said...

Mmmm, Jessica, notebook prezzies. I buy them for them, they buy them for me. It's great! A guilt free exchange of loveliness.

Vanessa Gebbie said...

I have oodles of notebooks. Some with flowery covers. Some plain with little pens attached. Some smart, 'moleskine' - ridiculous price!
They have two things in common. They all get left at home. It has to be psychological.And secodly, they are usually blank. Maybe one single page of neat writing... certainly not scribble, free, easy and creative.
But. In my bag, whichever it is, there will always be a few pages of computer paper, folded in four. Those pages will often contain masses of tiny scribbles, covering the thing... each rectangle headed with a number so I don't get lost when I unfold the paper.
Its become a habit now... always at the bottom of the bag, folded paper...

funny beings, writers!

WOMEN RULE WRITER said...

Oh that's interesting V. I am too much of a neat freak for loose pages. My pages have to be between hard covers.
I love Moleskines - but they are way too dear to use for random crap. I use them as travel journals.

WiseMóna said...

Hi Nuala,
I was one of the (mature) students you inspired yesterday. "Hello Everyone, My name is Móna, and I am a notebookaholic". It has been a serious problem for many years and in many countries :-)
I really enjoyed your lecture. Thanks for taking the time to speak to us.
Móna

swiss said...

yes, and have been lamenting lately there seem to be far less around. that said i do live with someone who makes them now so that shouldn't be overmuch of a problem!

what do i like? a non man-made cover, unlined paper, the heavier the weight the better. i don't mind designs on the cover but no
bright colours and no gloss finish
i don't mind an a5 size thing for in and about the house work but pocket sized versions for out and about are handy. i always have a notebook to hand, i my jacket, in my bag, by the bed, by the couch, anywhere i know i'll be too lazy to look for one!

not fussed for moleskins tho. too dear, too ubiquitous! lol

WOMEN RULE WRITER said...

Móna - lovely to meet you all yesterday, thanks for listening. Glad you are also a notebookaholic!

Swiss - lucky you! I'd love a notebook maker in residence.
I have a personal preference for lined. More neat freak tendencies...
Like you, I have notebooks in every room for inspirational emergencies.

Thank you both for your comments!

Totalfeckineejit said...

23? And Blank!!?? You're even worse than me.I'm obsessive butonly have about 5 blank that I'm keeping for 'special' whatever the feck that may be even I don't know.Ad I have to use a 'Special pen' too.I like unlined and prefer a soft tactile italian leather cover with that lovely smell (like by Francesco Lionetti €6) At the other end my latest buy was a real beauty by 'shruti'(€3) all recycled paper with a cool VW camper van on the front.I've been meaning to put them on my blog for a while now.So further insired, I will!
Ps.Luckily we have a TK max nearby with absolute bargains, otherwise my notebook cravings would go unanswered.

WOMEN RULE WRITER said...

TFE - so it is most writers then - not just women writers! My new notebooks were bought in TK Maxx - it's the new shop we got in Galway. Yay - love it!

Emerging Writer said...

Totally with you on the fetish. I like the smell of fresh pages. And don't get me started about pencils. I have to write in pencil...

Rachel Fenton said...

I reckon women buy on the basis of cover alone: maybe stretching to spiral bound thoughts if planning to cram in lots of extra bits like train tickets and lolly wrappers etc. Men will (often) buy for the same reasons but tell you the grade of paper and margin sioze and lots of other factual paper boff type info to justify the 'reason' for buying the umpteenth notebook that year when they too have 23 unused ones back home!

I used to have a collection until my daughter turned six and took an interest in them (now she has shoeboxes full), and I have started to use school exercise books - thin and flimsy, rollable/foldable, to deter her from nicking my latest plot and covering it in fairy stickers!

My favourite notebook is made from leaves :)

Sara Crowley said...

Oh I hear you!
Notebook fetish? Absolutely. Paperchase is my particular downfall, I seem unable to leave their stores without buying at least one new one. I don't use them though. If I do carry one in my bag it remains ignored. I usually come home with folded bits of scrap paper in my jeans pockets though. Ridiculous.

I use a couple at home. I have a large spiral bound one for tracking submissions and making the occasional novel note in which I find more satisfying than putting data into the mac.

Not in the slightest bit tempted by Moleskine. I do like a spiral bound book.

WOMEN RULE WRITER said...

EW - in pencil? How interesting and curious. I can see the attraction.

Rachel - yes, the covers are what woo me and if the inside paper is nice.
Fairy stickers - so sweet!

Sara - I love Paperchase and always go there when in the UK. Luckily it has not hit our shores as yet. Their stuff is soooo covetable.

minniebeaniste said...

Ah, Nuala dear, my name is Minnie and I am a recovering notebook addict... Yes, they're gorgeous objects, the very best of them (love your header pic). And one of their additional pleasures is leafing through old or hitherto lost ones.
Have always wanted to visit Galway - esp. during the Festival (cousin participated in it a few years back + I was wishing it then - some day ...!).

WOMEN RULE WRITER said...

Oh which festival, Minnie? There are so many of them...!

Anne said...

OK, you realise that this is screaming out for some kind of competition. You get us to do something in your comments and in return, you send us one of your 23 unused notebooks. Go on, you know you want to...

WOMEN RULE WRITER said...

Hoho Anne - sorry, the problem with the fetish is it's a selfish one...but stay tuned for a book giveaway!