I am always curious how people use their notebooks, journals, sketchbooks, scrapbooks, files, etcetera. I carry a notebook around with me wherever I go in addition to my daily diary (this year it has been the gorgeous Frankie Diary) to capture thoughts, jot down ideas, make lists, note words and passages and generally write down anything and everything that springs to mind.
It is all too often I turn a page and forget look back at what I’ve written down to remember. Last week I finished using my Moleskine ruled cahier and now is the time to reflect on my note taking over the course of its use between July and September this year.
Sometimes I think my true calling is lexicology. I love words, their meanings and context, their applicability and purpose, their romanticism and function. One of my new year’s resolutions for 2015 was to read a book per week and surprisingly I have mostly managed to stick with this. As with any resolution, some nights I am awake until the wee hours and plough through three a week, and others lure me into a lull over a few weeks. Some of my favourite books this year have been “Norwegian Wood” by Haruki Murakami, “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin” by Louis de Bernieres (yes yes I know I am late to the party on this one), “A Tale for the Time Being” by Ruth Ozens and “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou. One of the most wonderful aspects of reading is all the new words that become part of my vocabulary. Throughout my Moleskine these are the words and their definitions that made an appearance:
vicissitudes (n), plutocracy (n), autarky (n), brio (n), despotism (n), neologism (n), coruscating (adj), deracinate (v), otiose (adj), cavil (v, n), axiomatic (adj), sepulchral (adj), praeternatural (adj), meretricious (adj), bildungsroman (n), solipsism (n), douguya (n), depredation (n), rapacity (n), anomie (n), elegiac (adj), perseverate (v), denizens (n), quixotic (adj), emissary (n), calliope (n), schadenfreude (n)
Some snippets that I seem to have noted down for no other reason than charm:
+ happy as a clam in high tide
+ a party without cake is just a meeting
+ fridge pickers wear bigger knickers
+ my enemy’s enemy is my friend
+ work smart, not hard
+ express yourself, don’t repress yourself
And sometimes I seem to have been playing games with myself.
I make good use of the “highlight” function on my kindle. Sometimes however I want to write the words and see them immortalised in my ink.
On instagram at some point this year I came across the “happy list” concept and glued a few into my notebook to avoid them floating around in my bag or keeping them tucked in my diary. Happy lists should be looked at, to remind you of all the things you are grateful for.
Things to return to
I’ve clearly asked myself some questions to remind myself to do a bit of reading around the subject or noted down something I want to expand on and put some thought into. Such as:
+ is there a difference between equality and treating everyone the same?
+ de Bono’s thinking caps – which one for when?
+ BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour Power List – who is Kath Viner / Camilla Cavendish / Karen Blackett / Zanny Minton Beddoes / Sara Khan?
Overall I have really enjoyed using this notebook, I find the paper handles my fountain pens very well (even my reasonably broad-nibbed Parker 45), and the pages are a good size to write a piece without it spanning across reams of paper. The creamy colour has a pleasing vintage effect, but it does cause some bleed through. I think this notebook has a feel of simple sophistication about it and I will return to using it one day. On my list before that day though are my Tsubame “comfort” notebook mentioned a few blogs earlier and a Calepino number 1 ruled notebook.
Next though are these little beauties. I managed to get some of the new Field Notes limited collection, the Shenandoah edition. This will be my first foray into Field Notes and I have been reading with interest the many views on the notebooks across the stationery blogosphere. They certainly are portable and I love the natural finish of the covers. We shall see! Thanks for your service, Moleskine.