My Addiction

My name is Patrick, and I am a notebook addict. I have never really tried to hide my addiction. Many who know me well know of this “problem” (I am sill not sure I feel comfortable calling it that). Sometimes I am able to fight it. I convince myself that I really don’t need yet another notebook that will sit on a shelf and probably never be used. Sometimes they are given to me. Sometimes, I just can’t stop myself. The paper is too nice, the aesthetic beauty too compelling. The myriad of uses flood my brain and I become drunk with the elixir of possibility.
Here are just some of the examples of the times I have fallen:
* Black n’ Red Ruled A4 – Years ago I worked for a company that had an office in Brussels. These were the office standard issue notebook there. It was love at first sight so on a visit I grabbed two and I still have both. These are big euro letter sized bound books with 192 pages of bright white paper. One was used as a Journal, during a particularly miserable time in my life, for about a dozen pages. The other remained unused. Looking back, I figure that the misery did not stop but my will and desire to chronicle it did.
* Grey Sketchbook – This was a birthday gift sent to me by my friend Adeline in the U.K. I am not sure of the manufacturer, as there are no markings to indicate it. The book has a grey suede slipcover, blank pages with the following quote from Gandhi stamped into the cover ” You must be the change you wish in the world.” At my most recent day job, I gave it to one of my student workers who is a wonderful cartoonist and had him draw something on the first page. What he returned to me is a true work of whimsical art. That is what is linked to above since I can’t find the manufacturer of the notebook.
* Xonex Ru – Bought this in the Walker Art Museum Gift Shop after seeing a friend with one. I have the charcoal grey model. There was just something about it that I was compelled by. Perhaps it was the European sizing – A bit more flat and geometrically shaped than a Moleskine. It has a number of the same features though, an elastic closure and a pocket in the back. Also, here’s the thing, I generally don’t use notebooks without ruled lines or grids. My writing is far too messy and my art skills are like those of a two year old.
* Muji – I actually have two different Muji Notebooks, neither of which can be found in the US. They were brought back for me by a co-worker from Japan. The first is about the same dimensions as the Xonex Ru, has a beige craft cover and decent blank paper (did I mention I usually don’t use blank notebooks). The other is very much like a Large Lined Moleskine but with a bookcloth cover and without a pocket in the back. It does have the elastic closure though.
* Moleskines – Since they keep popping up, I will discuss the several Moleskines I have. I have a Pocket Lined (this was my daily capture for a long while). I have a Large Lined (use this as a personal journal). I have a Pocket Squared (unused). I have a Reporter Squared (A few mind and process maps but otherwise unused). I have a Barcelona City Book (The maps were indispensable. Wish I had written more in it and hope to return soon to fix that).
As I said, these are just a few examples. I have intentionally left out quite a few. Many of which I have written about recently here. The two Levenger Circa Notebooks. The several Field Notes Brand notebooks I have waiting on deck for me to complete the one I am using. The list could go on.
OK, I guess I may need an intervention.

6 thoughts on “My Addiction”

  1. Nice. I’m a sketchbook junkie, so it’s OK. I try to use up a sketchbook before I move on to a new one. I have friends who use whichever sketchbook is at hand, so they could be working on 5 sketchbooks at once.
    Currently, I’ve got a Moleskine that I talked about briefly here, but I also use a cheap-ish one I found at Barnes & Noble, as well as a super-cheap one from Borders, which I use at work.
    Then at church I use a tiny gridded Moleskine for sermon notes. I usually end up filling in the little squares with various patterns, ending up with some crazy sort of plaid pattern on the pages. I’ll have to scan & post that sometime soon.

  2. Hi Patrick! 🙂
    You’re not alone on that one, for sure. Whenever I’m in a stationery store or in the Paperchase section of Borders, I allow myself to fondle the notebooks, but try to restrain myself from buying any more. I have a big tub of them at home, which keeps getting more full. Just enjoy it. There are worse additions, for sure.

  3. Hi Patrick! I have the wonderful job of Marketing Director for the company that makes Black n’ Red notebooks. Love your comment and glad you like the books. I have the perfect job for someone who loves notebooks!

  4. But you know your addiction has gone over the top when you start making your own. Students keep asking me, “Do you know you can buy notebooks? They’re very cheap.”
    If you use unlined paper for a while, your writing might improve as a result. That happened with mine. My drawing skills still inspire only pity or amusement among those who see the results.

  5. Sounds familiar to me. I’ve been on and off journaling since I’m about 12 years old and I tend to use several diaries parallel, but they all are really different from each other. I just decided I will use them all up before I start a fresh one and them just use one at a time.
    plus, I have a lot of fresh ones of all shapes and sizes sitting around, waiting to be filled or take the place of one of my theme-books (related to a certain topic, project, city, language..)
    I don’t have a favorite pen to write in a certain notebook. It all depends on what I feel for, same problem with my various journals.

  6. Well, at least I finally know that I’m not the only one…My fiance, bless him, has long been confused and befuddled by my NEED to purchase journals that I fall in love with at work (I work for a retail book store). I have a huge collection of beautiful books (empty) lined, unlined, and gridded. Sketchbooks are no exception.

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