Hands up if you get excited at the thought of a new notebook?

Oct 22, 2016

About 20 minutes into the first evening of our Dressmaking isn’t Rocket Science workshop, I looked around and couldn’t help but notice that the ladies who were in attendance were taking fresh, unspoiled notebooks out and putting them on the table, ready for action. No back of envelopes or crumpled up sheets of paper found from scavenging in their bags. One of the notebooks I recognised as being from the IKEA paper section and I jokingly said as I tilted my head towards her notebook “IKEA?”. She gasped with delight and said, clutching the notebook to her chest, “I love notebooks!” and from around the room a universal murmur of appreciation turned into a loud roar for preferences, colours, spiral versus bound, and the gateway to paper addiction was well and truly opened.

A few days later at our All You Need to Know to Sew workshop, the same thing happened again except this time Jill admitted that every year her mother gives her a new notebook and pen and this is her favorite Christmas present. She waits for this present with an anticipated excitement that you would associate with a child, coming down the stairs to see if Santa had indeed been.

I have to say that I’m writing this primarily as I feel like I can finally be relieved of the burden of knowing that I too, am a notebook addict. Moleskins? – I must have 20 of them, some that only a few pages used, some with none at all and very few used from first page, to last. I both love and hate to crack the spine on a new notebook with no rhyme or reason why this affliction can occur from one notebook to the next. When I travel to foreign countries on my holidays, my lack of the local language is no barrier to finding where the best place to browse the notebook/paper/pen section is. Instead of looking at photos or postcards to remind me of my journeys in the past, notebooks are my visual cue.

So where did the embers of my addiction catch flame? I blame it on Filofax, which was my first foray into high-end paper goods. This was in the early 1990’s and I was living in New York, working for a British publishing company and when my English counterparts were visiting, I could not take my eyes off of the thick leather binder they kept referring to. The Filofax had yet to make its appearance in the States but I could see so much potential wedged in-between those two covers. I could organize EVERYTHING in my life with their modular system, keep a diary about it and when I was ready to start a new year, just pop out the old year and insert the new.

So why do we love notebooks so much?

After much observation (and questioning those who are brave enough to admit their love of notebooks), I’ve come to this conclusion:

My favorite place for notebooks? TK Maxx. You have to keep checking to see what comes in, but you can hit nirvana when your timing is right (my best buy of all time was a set of five Miro stitched notebooks in black). If I feel the itch but don’t want to spend much money, IKEA is my go-to place (I just introduced a friend to their Fullfolja pen and she, too, is now a fan). And the one that I would make sure that they gods would include in my tomb when I pass from this world to the next – Rhodia.

Do I feel much better for telling you about my paper…absolutely.

But then again, I think I am not alone.