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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