| Stationery | Laden Notebooks

Our blog was never intended to run with the seasons neither was it to be restrained by the chronological movement of time. It was always destined to follow its own organic path collecting and depositing stories as it grows.

I collect all our stories in Notebooks where they sit and wait until I lead them onto the blog. Some wait longer than others and some never leave these pages at all. Most, wait for the moments when I flick through the pages in search of a disremembered tale or a snippet of inspiration. 

Since around this time last year, I have managed to fill 5 notebooks with scribblings and scrawlings.

The Monokaki Novelists notebook is one of my favourites and features top of my next Japan shopping list. Made by Masuya of Asakusa in Tokyo who have been making notebooks since 1882. Currently in their 4th generation of family run owners, they continue to make this beautiful to write on notebooks, perfect for the handwriting of a manuscript. Don't believe me? Well it worked for Kawabata Yasunari, Mishima Yukio and Oe Kenzaburo.  Thread-stitched and bound in small segments, the Echizen washi pages work wonderfully with all inks I have tried on them. The cover is designed my Takagi Ryo. 

My other favourite of the bunch is the Midori MD Cotton Notebook that I wrote about previously HERE.

I am often asked what makes me choose a particular notebook and here is my answer;

- Paper. Poor quality paper makes me sad so I choose a notebook firstly for its ability to work with fountain pen ink, pencil, ball pens and even marker pens. Smooth pages that allow words to glide across them without bleeding into their reverse are my preference.

- Design. I will overlook the cutest of notebooks in preference of something well constructed and made with real writing and daily use in mind (rather than giftshop pastiche eye candy). 

- Binding. Ring bound notebooks are not for me. They are bulky and the binding gets in my way when I write. Though I own a few staple bound and even glued notebooks, I prefer thread-stitched versions because they allow the pages to open up and fall flat so I can write with ease.  

- Durability. Cheap (in quality not in cost) paper, cover and construction just don't last and as my notebooks sit on my bookshelves for years. I need them to last. They are precious to me!

- Provenance. This is not a deal breaker but knowing the history of the maker will always add a degree of charm to a notebook. I also like to know where the paper is made so I can feel good about using it.

Because things will not last with out a bit of care and attention. I keep my current notebook and diary in one of these cases that I make myself. I also sell these at a very reasonable cost in my little shop.

Before I go, I thought I'd make a note of my little vase! It is actually one of Fornasetti's lavish candle jars (I mentioned it before HERE). We finally finished the candle and so I repurposed the vessel as a vase for now. The roses are dying and somehow - they seem to only become more beautiful. Exraordinary.

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  1. There is a true art to choosing the right notebook. Although I prefer not to use fountain pens, I'm still a stickler for quality paper and I insist that it be lined, but with the lines no more than a centimetre apart - I have tiny penmanship and anymore space just makes it look silly. I also have to take into consideration if the notebook will lay flat no matter what page I open it to. For a long time I preferred hard bound notebooks, but lately the slimmer, softer ones seem to be taking over my collection and I must say, I would love to add one of the Monokaki creations to it.

  2. Oh, threaded binding, I would never have thought of that. A flat lying notebook is so important! Love your shop website. It's very mobile friendly.

  3. You are way out of my league! I use notebooks for blog and recipes, but I used my boys' old unused exercise books from the previous year. There are too many of them and I hate wasting papers! I have one here in front of me with my son's name and GEOGRAPHY written across it!

  4. Quite fancying some of those Midori ones, where can we get those?

    Buckets & Spades

  5. I like reading what you look for in a journal and that case is made is so super pretty! I also love you got to re-purpose that awesome jar :)

  6. This is perfect doll, love the right notebook, I need the right paper in it too and will happily sift through hundreds of notebooks to find it, haha :)) I like these notebooks as they have no wires or that kind of thing, being left handed, that kind of nonsense makes it hard to write fully on paper, so these are perfect :)) x

  7. The Midori ones are really worth trying to get - the 5th Anniversary ones are especially nice. You can find them in the Journal Shop or here : http://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/gifts-stationery/md-medium-cotton-notebook,midori-4902805151368

  8. I LOVE that you are using your kid's books. LOVE IT!!! I dislike waste too and this is just so cool!

  9. Lovely notebook that is designed so elegantly! Adore the vase with the face motif too, interesting piece!



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