Notebook Collection, part 10

Ten posts about my notebook collection is quite enough, I’d say. I don’t think I can ask for better notebooks than those that I have, especially a few I’ve gotten just in the last month. As much as I love finding new treasures, I’m out of room on my shelf anyway. So while I anticipate still adding some that are gifts from loved ones, I don’t plan to go looking for notebooks any more after this. We’ll see how long that lasts.

Past posts about the collection I have so far: Post #1  |  Post #2  |  Post #3  |  Post #4  |  Post #5  |  Post #6  |  Post #7  |  Post #8  |  Post #9

This was a gift from my husband’s step-mom for Christmas. I really like the colorful cover, though the inside is a little girly for me (there are unicorns O_O). However, the covers are thick, hard cardboard, and the notebook is full-size. It will be a nice, sturdy notebook that will do well for revision and writing someday.


I hesitated to buy this notebook at first, telling my husband that it wasn’t necessary to get a notebook just because we happened to be at Barnes & Noble. However, he reminded me that I had some “fun money” from Christmas, and it is such a beautiful leather cover. Add to that the leather tie and the fact that it’s very thick–probably the most pages of any I have–and I gave in. Not that it really takes much.


This is a small notebook, only about 5″ x 7″, but I loved the strap with the clock hanging from it. It’s the type where the pages are in 4 different designs–1 set of pages are lined, 1 set grid, 1 set blank, and 1 set also blank but of kraft paper (thicker, brown paper). In the past that might have been a deal breaker, but I’m past believing that I’ll get to some of these notebooks soon enough for it to be a big deal. The pages are held together in a 3-ring binder contraption, so they can be replaced if necessary, though I’m not sure how easy it will be to find 3-holed paper of this size.


This is a leather notebook cover, which did come with a spiral-bound notebook inside to start. It is a soft, supple leather that I love even more than I expected to. It also came with a clip that can be attached to the cover anywhere and would hold a pen, though I don’t want to mar the leather with it. Maybe when I start using it someday, I’ll see how feasible it is to attach the clip to the notebook itself. Sadly, I’m afraid to snap it closed, because one of the snaps was so tight that I worry I’ll eventually rip it out of the leather in the due course of closing and opening the notebook.


This is a bit of a removal from the rest of the notebooks I’ve been sharing, but I thought it was still worth including. In March of last year, about 10 months after I began sharing book reviews on my blog, I realized how much it would help me to write down notes as I read a book, so I’d remember more when I was ready to write the review. I don’t force myself to write something with every book, but if I want to remember something as I go, knowing that my memory can be pretty bad these days, I’ll start a page for that book and keep any notes (even if it’s just that first one that prompted me to start the page for it). Any time I can come up with a legitimate reason to start using one of the many notebooks in my possession is a happy occasion, and this is the one I chose for it (not the one above, click the link in the previous words to see it); I’ve had it since 2015, so it’s really about time I started using it. Plus the pen is always there when I want to jot down some thoughts.

Last summer, I saw the above journal at Half Price Books. Inside, most of the pages are designed to be used for the exact purpose of what I’ve been doing–taking notes on books as you read. There are a few pages at the back designed for keeping a TBR list, writing down book passeges you want to remember, and keeping a list of books you’ve borrowed out. I doubt I’ll use any of those pages as intended, but it’s a small portion of the journal. I’m still going to fill up the one I started before I begin on this one, but it’s almost halfway full, so I know the day will come soon enough.


I’m all caught up on sharing newly acquired notebooks for my collection. I feel a stronger resolve than normal to not purchase any more for myself, so I think it’s safe to say it’ll be a while before I have enough to post about again.

Do you collect anything related to reading or writing? Feel free to share!

Notebook Collection, part 9

I won’t say too much as an introduction, since I posted about this same thing only last Saturday. In this post you will find 4 more recent additions to my notebook collection, and if you want to see more, you can click on the links directly below this.

Past posts about the collection I have so far: Post #1  |  Post #2  |  Post #3  |  Post #4  |  Post #5  |  Post #6  |  Post #7  |  Post #8

This is one of the very few notebooks in my collection that came from a thrift store, because as you can imagine, used notebooks aren’t particularly helpful. But now and then apparently someone donates a notebook that they never wrote in. This is actually more of a notebook cover, with a magnetic clasp. Inside is a plain spiral notebook that can be replaced, along with a slot for papers, a clear slot that looks like it’s for a business or ID card, and a pen holder. I like simple covers like this so that I can put my own notebooks in them and keep them safe when they travel in my purse or luggage. Also, it only cost 50¢, so you can’t go wrong with that!


In a nearby city, there’s a store that is only open during Christmas shopping time. They spend the rest of the year gathering things to sell, like overstock from other businesses, things like that, and they sell most of their inventory really cheap. So what they have is very hit-or-miss from year to year. I was a little sad at their selection of notebooks this year–a lot of very plain things, repeats from last year, or oddball notebooks like one with Benjamin Franklin quotes all through it. The notebook above, however, was an immediate grab for me, because I knew it would be absolutely perfect for me to write my character interviews in. After all, what says “split personality” more than talking to myself as a writing exercise?


I watched Jurassic Park in the theater as a teenager. My parents took our whole family, thinking it was going to be more of a light-hearted comedy (what trailer did they see?!). I don’t remember what I thought about it then, but I do remember watching it at my friends house shortly after it came out on VHS. We watched it at least 2-3 times into the night, determined to watch until it didn’t scare us anymore. Maybe that’s why I’m such a huge fan of the whole franchise now. I love them all, even the cheesy ones. I have also read both books, though it’s been a while, which is why I will be reading them again sometime soon.


This was a Christmas gift from my husband last month, a leather journal cover that he had custom-made for me. It’s the name of my first full-length book, as well as the name of the book series, and also the name of the country most of the series takes place in. As you can see from the spine of the book on the left, it’s in the same font as the title on the book, too. It’s basically a refillable travel journal, which means that there are multiple smaller notebooks inside, held in by elastic bands, that can be replaced as needed. It looks beautiful, smells wonderful, will hold up to all sorts of use and abuse, and can be reused forever. Words cannot express how this cover makes me feel.


Stay tuned for one more post with 4 more notebooks, at which point I will be caught up (for now).

Do you collect anything related to reading or writing? Feel free to share!

Notebook Collection, part 8

6 1/2 years ago, I started this blog and promptly posted about the small collection of notebooks I had just realized I had. Since then, the collection has grown into a bit of a monster. As an author, I like to write by hand as much as possible, but it’s just so much faster to type. Try it; you’ll probably agree with me. Even still, I handwrite when I can, and I love gathering notebooks. I also love sharing about my notebooks.

It has been far too long since I last posted about newly acquired notebooks. Maybe not that long when measured in time (6 months), but definitely too long when measured in notebooks (13), since I try to keep these posts to no more than 5 notebooks per. So I’ll split these 13 into 3 different posts, spread out over the next week.

Past posts about the collection I have so far: Post #1  |  Post #2  |  Post #3  |  Post #4  |  Post #5  |  Post #6  |  Post #7

I bought this notebook at Meijer, of all places. Usually big retail stores like that don’t have much in the way to captivate me, though Meijer does seem to be the exception. I love the ability to customize it with any letter in front. There are also a few other options to fill the window, as seen on the left.


I remember watching my husband play Ocarina of Time back in the early days of our marriage. It’s a fond memory, though I’d never played Zelda before that, nor did I play it after that. Until Breath of the Wild caught my attention, which I’ve now played through all of.

In case you can’t tell from the picture, this notebook lights up. I almost passed on it, because the bottom-right corner, where the activation button is, is a bit dented in from all of the people pushing the “Press Here” sticker in the store. But it was a good deal, in the clearance section of Box Lunch, so I went for it. (Box Lunch will be the death of me, I’m pretty sure.)


This is one notebook that is better in person (well, they all are, really). The draw of it is the soft, suede-like hardcover, which of course won’t come across in a picture. It just looks like a plain gray notebook from Half-Price books…they can’t all have interesting stories.


This notebook and the one below it my husband bought on clearance at the Disney Store in Indianapolis on a work trip for me that gave him time to shop thrift stores (which he loves to do). Apparently he also had time to go to the mall.

This first one (above) is from the movie Onward, which we’d watched not long before and enjoyed. It’s meant to be the RPG book the older brother uses, and the back cover text (shown on the right) reflects that too. It also came with a pen that is the wand from the movie. It lights up, but it’s a bit touchy and I couldn’t get it turned on for the picture (it was on clearance, after all).


I have never seen the movie that this notebook is for. My husband was basically aware of that fact, but still thought I’d like the notebook. At first, I wasn’t really sold, but the longer I’ve had it (he bought it around 4 months ago), the more it’s grown on me. First of all, it’s huge–one of only a couple of my notebooks where the pages inside are as big as regular notebook paper. Second, the covers are thick and rigid, which makes it a very hardy notebook. Then there are the accessories. The “hinges” on the left (which are also on the back) are metal and the nail spots, though fake, do stick out. No, that keyhole doesn’t actually lock. In fact, the latch opens from the spot on the far right, not where the keyhole is. But it’s still metal and just really cool looking. And the bookmark has a tassel on the end! I’ve really come to love the overall medieval look to it.


Stay tuned for more notebooks within the week, including easily my favorite of all of my collection!

Do you collect anything related to reading or writing? Feel free to share!

Notebook Collection, part 7

This is the second half of my attempt to get caught up on posting about the newest additions to my notebook collection (which is really more of an obsession than a collection).

If anyone is interested in the previous posts as my smattering of notebooks became a collection and has grown:
Post #1
Post #2
Post #3
Post #4
Post #5
Post #6

notebook 5b

The story of this first notebook is a little sad. I recently read the entire Harry Potter series for the first time. Of course that opens up a whole new world of fandom merchandise to be interested in, which for me means notebooks. Though I prefer to shop for notebooks at stores, rather than online, I came across this one on Amazon (or maybe my husband did). It is not simply due to the fact that it’s from the series I’d recently read that I really liked it; it was also due to the overall look and style, being made to look like the Hogwarts letter from the very first book/movie. The seal has a magnet in it and keeps the notebook closed, and the cover is faux leather. And the best part is, like a LoTR notebook I got last year, what you see here is actually a book cover, inside which is a plain notebook with a cardboard front and back cover that can be removed when it’s filled, allowing this cover to be used again!

notebook 5a

Unfortunately, when the notebook arrived, it had a large sticker around the bottom of the cover. And when I peeled the sticker off, a lot of the adhesive was left behind and small bits of coating on the cover were removed with the sticker. I cleaned most of the adhesive off with Goo Gone, but the damage was done. Plus, the Goo Gone got into the material a bit and just would not come off, no matter what I used on it (trying to be careful not to further ruin the parts where the coating had come off). As you can tell from the bottom picture, it’s not too noticeable, especially if you don’t know where to look. I did contact the company that manufactures them, though, and strongly recommended that they do not put STICKERS directly on their notebooks.


notebook 6a

Let me mention now that, though I did like the Harry Potter series, I didn’t love it to the degree that this post may make it seem. But while either waiting for the other notebook to arrive or possibly while dealing with the sticker issue (I don’t remember the timing), I saw a boxnotebook 6b set at the mall that included the notebook shown to the left, a pen modeled after Harry’s wand from the movie, and the mug shown here too. I have a thing about mugs that appeal to me in some way too (though have far less mugs than I do notebooks), so it seemed perfect for me. I’ve used the mug many times (especially during the winter and early spring when I was still reading the HP books and it was cold outside).


notebook 7

This was an online purchase around the same time as the letter notebook. I stopped myself there, though, because I’m sure I could find so many notebooks in the the vast supply online (compared to in stores that I visit now and then) that I loved that it would bankrupt my family, if I didn’t put a tiny limit on it.

I love the nautical theme on this notebook with a leather-type cover. The anchor actually hangs along the spine, but I wanted to make sure it could be seen in the picture. And the wheel is at the end of a long piece of leather that wraps around the book to keep it closed.

While the outside has this adventure & travel feel to it, inside there is actually a 3-ring binder contraption, with plastic dividers that can be used to organize whatever you use the notebook pages for.


notebook 8aI’ve said it before, but I always love a good bargain on a notebook. My husband basically goes to every Goodwill store he passes, looking for uncommon board game deals (which he finds pretty often, actually). When I go with him, I generally look at the books for the same reason. Notebooks are much less notebook 8bcommon to find, for probably obvious reasons. But we did see this one, and though I’m not a huge Star Wars fan, my husband is. So he decided I should have this, and for $1, it’s not worth putting up an argument. I do like the style of artwork on it, so I’m not complaining. Besides, with how many notebooks that I have that are almost too pretty to use, it’s nice to have some that don’t give me that feeling.


While I’ve done a decent job this year in not buying a ton of notebooks (compared to before that), when my husband and I go on trips, we tend to find notebooks that I just have to have (I say “we” because he buys them for me, or pushes me to buy ones he can see I really like, at least as often as I decide to buy them myself). At the time of this posting, we’re on a week-long anniversary trip, so it’s very possible I’ll have more to share soon!

Do you collect anything related to reading or writing? Feel free to share!

Notebook Collection, part 6

I’ve been putting off posting about my most recent notebook acquisitions for a few months now. I don’t know why. But I realized today that, since my husband and I are going on an anniversary trip in a few days, I’m likely to have more soon. So it’s time to get caught up.

If anyone is interested in the previous posts as my smattering of notebooks became a collection and has grown:
Post #1
Post #2
Post #3
Post #4
Post #5

notebook 1

It’s not very often that I add a notebook to my collection that is full-sized. Most of those that catch my eye are about half the size of the standard 8 1/2 x 11. This one is not only full-size, but has hard front and back covers, with an indented, condensed image of a map of the world. I still can’t explain my apparent fascination with maps on my notebooks, but I really like the way it looks.


notebook 2

Everyone knows about the flippy sequins that are all over everything these days, right? I used to think it was silly, but at some point, I realized how it might be soothing to flip them back and forth while sitting and reading or something. But I didn’t want it on just anything. My husband got me a large blanket of this type, which was perfect, because we keep our house pretty cool in the winter, and I am usually found under a blanket. More recently, I spotted a notebook at Meijer with the exact same color pattern of flippy sequins…it seemed like destiny. Granted, it might not be the easiest notebook to actually write in, but given the rate I’m going through these notebooks, that won’t be an issue for a long time.


notebook 3

Don’t let the size of the picture fool you–this notebook is quite small. Still not the smallest I have though. My husband insisted on me getting this one at WinterJam in February. Building 429 is amongst my favorite bands, and “Fear No More” is my favorite of their recent songs. (though the honor of my favorite song of theirs overall still belongs to “Where I Belong”). Concert t-shirts are good too, but this kind of souvenir definitely appeals to me a lot.


notebook 4In my previous notebook post, I shared my discovery of novel journals, an in particular, the Sherlock Holmes one I had picked up. While these notebooks are seriously amazing to me, I have read very few of the classics that they are based on. I had seen somewhere that there was one for Anne of Green Gables, which not only have I read, I loved! However, I was finding these sporadically in different locations, and was at the mercy of which books they had. The price online wasn’t preferable at the time either. Then I happened to see this at Meijer, of all places, and so now it’s mine. I haven’t been able to bring myself to take the plastic wrapper off of it yet though. Many of the notebooks I buy are wrapped in plastic, but always have a flap with adhesive to open the package easily. I tend to take the book out to look at it or take a picture, then put it back until I’m ready to start using it. Keeps it clean while it sits and waits. But this one doesn’t have a flap, it’s just completely sealed. So once it’s out, it’s out for good.


This is half of the most recent additions to my collection. I prefer to share shorter posts since the first few that were so long (since I share the story behind every notebook). So some time next week, I’ll post about 4 more. And then we’ll see if after our vacation, I have another post to make. (I’m just as likely to return with a stack of books as notebooks, now that I’ve found my way back to reading so much.)

Do you have any favorite notebooks? Feel free to share!

Notebook Collection, part 5

I don’t know why I got it into my head that I needed to share every notebook I bought on my blog. It’s probably part of being obessed with buying them. I want to share them, and the story behind them, with others!

If anyone is interested in the previous posts as my collection grew: the first 12 notebooks, the next 10, 6 more, and another 5. And now here are the next 5 additions:

6

Box Lunch is my favorite of all the “geek stores” at our local mall, mostly because it is so focused on things from my childhood (A Goofy Movie, Aristocats, The Rescuers), on top of the more recent Disney movies, and many other popular fandoms. I found this notebook in the clearance section. The cover of this half-size notebook has lenticular printing, which sort of makes it look like Mario’s trying to dodge barrels if you tilt the book up and down.


7

This is from the same visit to Box Lunch. You may recognize the look if you’ve seen the movie Up. It’s about the same size as a full-size notebook, though the length and width are swapped (not even my first notebook with that shape). The front and back cover are actually tied on with that string you see there, which worried me at first, imagining the pages falling out. But the pages are bound together, so I think it’s safe.


8a

At a bargain store, I found an incredibly interesting notebook that was labeled a “novel journal” (not the one shown here). It was based on the book Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. I’ve seen an adaptation, but not read the book, so I looked around the area where I found it for an edition I could connect with more, since the label mentioned some other novels that I would have preferred. I didn’t find any, but I still loved the notebook, so I bought it.

8bA few weeks later at Half Price books, I found a few more varieties of novel journals, so with a little deliberation, I bought the Sherlock Holmes edition. Shown in the right picture, the lines are actually comprised of text from the stories, which is what makes these journals so cool!

(Side note: I gave the Jane Eyre version to my sister, who actually has read the book.)


9aWhile considering the previous notebook at Half Price Books, I saw this book nearby. I mentioned in the previous notebook post that I seem to like notebooks with maps on them, and this was no exception.  9b Besides the Tolkien quote on the front, it’s filled with other quotes about adventure, presumably because it’s meant to be a travel journal.


Finally for this batch, this cute half-sized, skinny notebook was a gift from my in-laws for Christmas. I don’t know if it was intentional, but the words on the front were quite appropriate, because my husband and I love escape rooms (and I used to work at one, and while I worked there, we had this expression put on a t-shirt). My mother-in-law went a step further, too, and wrote on the first few pages–a dedication, then some quotes about writing, and to the third page she taped the print-out shown in the right picture above.

I’m now caught up on sharing my notebooks, and I’ve been trying really hard not to get any more. But the only real way to avoid it is to stop going to the notebook section in stores that I visit…and I like to look at them. If I used them more quickly, I might not mind it so much, but it’s so much easier to type than to write in a notebook, as much as I love writing by hand. Anyway…

Do you collect anything related to reading or writing? Feel free to share!

Notebook Collection, part 4

This will be my 4th post about my notebook collection. I planned to put this out several weeks ago, but the holidays got in the way. Of course, I’ve added even more since I realized I had enough to post about. I’m splitting them into 2 posts, but I’ll have to post the 2nd one soon, or I’ll have even more to add to it.

Truthfully, I am trying very hard to cut down on how many I get. The shelf where I keep them is full now, and I’m not exactly using them up quickly. It’s just so difficult when there are so many amazing notebooks out there! It really is an obsession…

Speaking of which, follow these links to see the first, second, and third posts about my collection. And now here are the next 5 additions:

1

I’ve actually had this notebook for years and recently found it on a different shelf. My mother-in-law gave it to me when I was first starting to collect notebooks (before I thought of it as a collection). It’s a cute little journal with a window in the front, inside which are actual dried flowers (well, they might be fake…I haven’t exactly opened it, but the point is that it’s not a 2-dimensional representation, but actual flowers inside).


2

This mini notebook with accompanying pen was a gift from my local library, when I took part in a display at a festival in our town. They had a couple of tables set up for local authors to sell books, promote themselves, and talk to the public about writing or publishing. It was the first time I’d ever done something like this, and paved the way for a slightly larger event at the library in the next city over.


3

My husband got this at a thrift store a month or so before Christmas, and I love the ugly Christmas sweater look. I’m also always happy to add to my collection at a bargain price. It’s a half-sized notebook that is thicker than most of my notebooks of the same size.

 


4a

4bWe have a plethora of places to get cheaply priced notebooks in my area, which I’m afraid is really a problem for me. During the Christmas shopping season, we went to a store that’s only open during that time and sells goods for really cheap. They had several notebooks that caught my eye. I decided to stick to only buying 2 (even though they were super cheap). I chose this one because of the gold fringe and sparkly page edges.


5This is the other notebook I got at the store mentioned above. It’s closer to a normal notebook size and spiral-bound, which will make it easier to write in. I’ve also noticed that I really like notebooks with maps on them, and I do live in Indiana, so it was easy to decide on.

 

 

I’ll have another post next week, and hopefully it will only include 5 notebooks. If there are more than 5, you’ll know how weak I really am…

Notebook Collection, part 3

To make a long story short, I have a bit of a notebook collection. A current count shows 15 empty notebooks, and probably close to that many either filled or currently being filled. I just can’t help myself when I’m out, whether at a mall, a gift shop, or just about any store that has any selection of notebooks or stationery. In the last couple of years, I have tried to cut down on buying any, but I’ve still made some purchases.

I’ve shared my collection on my blog twice now, and I realized a few weeks ago that I have bought 6 more since the 2nd post. So rather than wait until I have 10 to post about, since I like to share the story behind each notebook and don’t want the post to be as long as last time, I decided now is a good time for a post.

(Follow these links to see the first and second posts about my collection)

notebook 1

This is my first official Moleskine notebook (and only so far). My husband and I were at Barnes and Noble and I saw their display of them and told my husband how they were a famous brand of notebooks. As often happens when I show interest in something in front of my husband, he insisted I get one. I haven’t started using it yet, but have plans for it to replace my NaNoWriMo notebook that is more than half full now, because it’s the same shape and size (that’s a compulsion with me).


notebook 2

I don’t actually have much to say about this one. I’m pretty sure my husband bought it for me when I wasn’t with him and surprised me with it. He introduced me to Pokemon when we got married (in fact, he basically introduced me to the whole world of geek), so it’s quite fitting, really. It’s empty, and probably will be for a while.


notebook 3

I can’t try to shame anyone who hasn’t seen Stranger Things, because when the first season was out, it took me about a year to get around to watching it, even though my husband and many others I knew said how great it was. My husband found this notebook (at Walmart, of all places) a week or so before season 3 came out last month. The cover is actually from season 1 though, which I was glad for, because I didn’t like season 2 quite as much, and didn’t know yet what I’d think about season 3.


notebook 4anotebook 4b

The next 3 notebooks were all bought on the same weekend anniversary trip my husband and I took last month. As soon as I saw this notebook, I knew I had to have it…there was really no question. The book can be closed with the leather lace, wrapping it around the book, and then around/under the leaf on the front. The green is a soft material, and the right picture shows the quote that is on the inside cover. It wasn’t even until after I bought it and looked at it more that I realized that what you see here is actually a book cover, inside which is a plain notebook with a cardboard front and back cover that can be removed when it’s filled, so the outer LoTR-themed cover can be re-used. So it was even better than I thought when I first found it! I’m pretty much in love with it. I have no idea what I’m going to use it for, but I think I have to start using it very soon.


notebook 5aI found this book in the clearance section of Barnes & Noble. It might seem strange to many, but it piqued my interest. It’s a guest book, meant to be used for whatever guest books are normally used for. But inside, there are lines like in any notebook, and somehow the unique shape of it, and even the word “GUESTS” on the cover and each page, led me to have all sorts of ideas about the inspiration that could come while writing in it. So it was worth it for a clearance price. (My husband tried to tell me he didn’t think I was weird, but I could tell he did.)


notebook 6anotebook 6b

The final notebook for this post was found in a bargain store. I told myself not to go to the office supplies area, but I just couldn’t help myself (I never can). The wood grain cover was enough to at least draw my attention, but I would have put it back and walked away had I not opened it and seen the inside cover. My estimate is that the map is from around the time of the French & Indian War, though I admit I haven’t looked it up or anything. Either way, I really liked the look of it, so now it’s part of my collection.

I’ve noticed that I’m not the only writer who has a plethora of notebooks, so feel free to show me yours!

Happy Stranger Things Day!

ST notebook

Whether you’ve already watched all of season 3, or are saving it for later (or are somewhere in between), I just wanted to give a shout out to my fellow Stranger Things fans! My husband and I might watch some of it tonight, but we’re saving most of it for our mini vacation this weekend while we celebrate our 19th anniversary (which was Monday).

Also, happy Independence Day to those of you who are in the States!

**The above image is the cover of a notebook my husband bought me a few days ago. I’m a bit of a notebook collector, and was just thinking to myself that I haven’t gained any new notebooks since my last post updating my collection. Though now I’ve realized I have added at least 2 before this one. Still not enough for a new post.

Who’s watched it? Who’s planning to? Who hasn’t watched season 1 yet?

Notebook Collection, part 2

When I first started this blog as a place to post my daily writing work, to hold myself accountable, a few months in, I wrote a post about my notebooks. Around that time I had come to realize that I had what could officially be called a collection of notebooks. I had never before been a collector of anything besides dust, junk, and words.

I hadn’t intended to start collecting notebooks, and I understand now that people don’t wake up one day and decide to start collecting something (well, some people may do that; I’m not here to generalize). I decided then to share my notebook collection on my fledgling blog with maybe 3 readers (I’m not just being self-deprecating—I didn’t exactly promote the blog that was only meant to keep myself working on my writing).

Here is that first post, written a little over 3 years ago. In the time since then, my collection has grown. That first post has notebooks going all the way back to my childhood, and in 3 years, I’ve doubled the amount.

I think it has something to do with admitting to myself and to my family that this is a collection. And since then, I’ve upgraded that admission to “obsession.” Now, my head isn’t turned by every brightly colored, spiral-bound notebook sitting on a shelf at the store. But I can’t help but love notebooks that are unique, interesting, related to something I like, or have a story behind them.

So now that I’ve returned to my blog after a year and a half hiatus, it seems like a good time to post about the additions to my collection. At the end, I even mention a few items that aren’t notebooks, but are worth noting. Warning: I plan to tell the story of each of these, and while these are not every single notebook I’ve gained since July of 2014, it’s still going to be a long post. Continue at your own discretion.

NaNo notebookMy parents gave me this NaNoWriMo notebook for Christmas in 2014. It was a new product in their store at the time, and I’d wanted a blank notebook from them for years. I was one (among many, I’m sure) who suggested they create a blank notebook instead of the confusing (to me, at least) notebooks they already had that seemed to have filled pages and maybe blank ones, but who knows without buying them. I’ve started using it for exactly what it says there–NaNoNovel prep notes.

notebook 2In April, 2015, my family went to Canada mainly to attend the farewell concert of a Toronto-based geek band. We went through Niagara Falls on our way home, and there I got this souvenir of the trip. It’s made of recycled paper, the cover is cardboard, and even the pen that it came with is mostly made of cardboard! This notebook is still unused.

notebook-3.jpgMy parents-in-law gave me this journal on my birthday in (I think) 2015. It has a very nice, squishy cover, and has various Bible verses on the bottoms of some of the pages. I started using it near the end of 2015 as a daily gratitude journal which I’ve continued with varying consistency since then.

notebook 4This notebook is one of my favorites. My husband gave it to me for Christmas in 2015. It’s one of my larger notebooks (so many are half the size of a normal, school-use notebook) and has a squishy cover as well. The clasp (shown in insert) is engraved with, “Dream, Plan, Write Every Day…” which is a motto I made up and used as a title to a series of blog posts with writing tips. I’ve used this notebook for some writing practice, and will continue to do so once I get back into the habit.

notebook-5.jpgThe story behind this one isn’t nearly as good as the others, because my husband insisted on getting it for me when we walked by a sale of monogrammed notebooks at JoAnn’s. But it’s interesting to me, because I never used to be the kind of person who cared about my initial on things, but I find I enjoy it now. This one is a half-sized notebook, but it’s lined, and has a cloth cover. It’s unused for now.

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It might be hard to tell from the picture, but this is a magnetic notebook. You can take pages out and put them back in, refill the notebook, move a page up so you can write on the bottom better, and even print on the pages and put them back into the notebook. I haven’t started using it yet because I feel like it should be saved for something really special. That’s a problem I’m starting to have with a lot of my notebooks though.

This notebook came from a preview trip to the Ark Encounter in Kentucky in July of 2016. It is handmade with a hand-carved wood cover and cotton paper. (The left is the front cover, the right is an informational insert that is still attached to the back cover.) It is beautiful and oddly square-shaped, which makes it stand out even more amongst my other notebooks. This one may be the hardest one for me to ever bring myself to start writing in.

notebook-7.jpgLast Christmas, my daughter came up with the perfect idea for a gift for me while we were at Barnes & Noble. Based on various clues, I knew she was planning to get me a notebook, and I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I have too many as it is and really shouldn’t keep getting more. She’s only 7 (was 6 at the time) and loves coming up with gift ideas on her own, so I didn’t want to ruin that for her, and let my husband help her buy this beautiful, soft-covered, hand-embroidered notebook. It is unused so far, and I’m torn between wanting to save it for something special and wanting her to see me using it.

notebook 9Just a few months ago, ThinkGeek opened a store in a mall near us. We went to the grand opening, and my husband insisted we both get something. I was able to resist until I saw this notebook. I didn’t even have to say anything; he grabbed it and didn’t give me a chance to argue (not that I would have much). I watched this movie quite a bit when I was younger, and it even has a golden ticket inside, because…well, how could it not? It’s unused so far, and low on the list of books to start using, which doesn’t bother me.

This is my newest addition, just picked it up last weekend. I went to a living history reenactment, the biggest one in our area. I saw this beauty in Daniel Boone’s tent, and ogled it a bit. It has a leather cover and (I suspect) bark pages, with a metal clasp to hold it shut. I held myself back for reasons I already mentioned (I have too many…), but my husband snuck back later and bought it for me. I’m beginning to see a pattern here…my husband is an enabler. He’s definitely one who shows his love through gift-giving.

Now I’m out of notebooks for this post, but in case anyone has gotten down this far (even just by skimming), I have a couple of other things of note in this vein:

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After desiring a Freewrite for a few years, but knowing that I couldn’t remotely justify spending that much money on something that was just for a hobby, I stumbled across the information that other such items existed. I don’t remember if I went looking for a substitute, or just got lucky, but I read some reviews and found out that the Alphasmart Neo was everything I wanted out of a highly portable, distraction-free writing device. They’re not in production anymore, but you can find cheap used ones online. So I linked it to my husband last fall and hinted about a Christmas gift, and sure enough, he came through! It can save up to 8 different files, transfers to your computer when you’re ready for that (though if you have a long file, that part can take a while), and the battery life has been incredible so far. I am highly anticipating using this in my first NaNoWriMo next month. I may have to sew up a padded sleeve for it so that I can transport it in my massive Handbag of Holding without worrying about hurting it.

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Lastly, this is my fidget pen. The little balls that are attaching that curved piece to the pen are magnetic, as is the very top of the pen, where the larger ball is attached. This thing keeps my hands busy for hours. I had noticed a tendency to take apart pens or mechanical pencils that I used while writing or in meetings, and I knew this pen would be perfect for me. It also came with the desk toy. (Video of pen in action) I don’t know about anyone else, but fidget spinners didn’t enter my field of vision until earlier this year. By the time I’d heard about them, I had already invested in this crowdfunded pen. Now I feel a little dirty, being part of a fad, but this is so much better and more practical than a spinner because it’s a pen.

I won’t make this post any longer by drawing out the conclusion, and instead just say that since I’ve noticed that I’m not the only writer who has a plethora of notebooks, feel free to show me yours!