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I have … a little problem

2 April 2010

My name is Imperatrix, and I have an obsession with notebooks.

It may not seem like it, compared to some, but what I actually give in and purchase is a tiny fraction of  how many I see and contemplate buying. What’s worse is, although I love the idea of having a notebook/journal/daybook/copybook/book of shadows/book of hours, the vision of a clean sheet of paper terrifies me — I rarely dare mar its pristine surface. Or, I do begin, but quickly lose interest (read: forget about it) and end up storing many a one-page book in my cabinet.

Let me show you. These are the ones I could quickly lay my hands on in my office today:

Journals, closed
One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just isn’t the same.

Did you make a guess? Here:

Journals, open
The one on the top right is my knitting journal. I mark every row I do so that I can keep track of where I am. This is particularly important when making two of something (socks, mittens) so that they end up being the same length (simply measuring is not accurate enough, in my opinion).

Now, that second picture is a bit of a cheat, because some of these are examples of my one-page wonders. First up, the softcover moleskine (I decided I didn’t like the shape and general floppiness of the bland softcover). That was going to be my quote book:

George Orwell on language

Go ahead and click on the picture to read the quote — it’s a perfect quote for an editor, I think.

(And this makes me realize that maybe the reason I never get very far in these is that I believe that a beautiful notebook deserves beautiful writing — which mine is certainly not. Look how crabbed and generally bleh it is!)

In 2004 (2004!) I decided the purple journal (top center) would make a great poetry copybook. I only got as far as the first poem:

Hey look, another quote book

It’s a damn fine poem, indeed.

Then take a look at the still-blank lovely hand-watercolored mushroom notebook:

Lovely hand-watercolored mushroom

I purchased it from a craftswoman at the farmer’s market in Norwich, VT — the one we went to during our sabbatical year — two years ago! I had every intention of using it (notice in the first picture, I had even gotten a special archival ink pen to go with it), but haven’t wanted to “mess it up.”

Sigh. And last night I bought that black graph-paper notebook on the bottom right. I like the idea of writing on quadrille pages — it feels so European to me. Perhaps now that I’ve shared my little problem, that will be the kick in the wrist I need to actually start using the thing.


3 Comments leave one →
  1. 2 April 2010 2:56 pm

    I have a similar problem, many blank books, almost all still blank.

    Maya Angelou spoke at my college graduation – that poem defines my college years in a way.

  2. cowgirl permalink
    5 April 2010 9:45 am

    of all the problems someone can have, this is not a bad one 😉

  3. 15 April 2010 6:50 am

    Kick in the wrist — ha! I love notebooks, too, but stick strictly to those iconic marble-covered ones. With the *giant* wide rule. And nothing else.

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