Loch Awe in spring - Photo courtesy of Neil Donald Photography






Saturday, 20 August 2016

My love of stationery refuses to stay stationary - it just grows and grows!!



I’m not a lover of supermarket shopping - is anyone? But at this time of the year my local French supermarkets call to me and I find it hard to resist their siren calls! Schools here return for the new school year at the end of August and because pupils have to provide their own stationery, the aisles are stuffed full of enticing pens, files, jotters, agendas, folders and, my personal downfall, notebooks. Notebooks of every size and description. Small, large, hardback, softback, covered in plastic, bejewelled, lined, blank, etc.etc. Temptation en mass.


I do feel guilty though when I buy and stockpile these notebooks. Is there any real need to buy notebooks these days when I can make notes on my telephone or my ipad either by text or by recording? Not that I do either of those things - far too technical for me!

Beside’s it’s not as though I don’t have lots of pristine notebooks waiting to be used already. I do. But there is something so different about French notebooks. For a start they rarely have lines as we know it. Pages are either blank, or have graph like squares on the pages - which take some getting used to I can tell you. Sometimes the exercise books are a mix of both blank and graph pages. Like this:


                                                                                           
I know lots of writers write directly on to their computers these days and I do too when writing a short story but for novels I love opening a brand new notebook, writing the title on the first page (can’t start without the title!) and starting to make notes about characters and possible plot lines, writing scenes and just generally making notes. 

I find that the simple act of putting pen to paper frees my thoughts far more than hitting the keys does for some reason. Then, as I transfer my notes etc to my computer it all somehow jells in my small brain and I find myself adding more detail as I type it all up. 

My publishers sent me a lovely little notebook last Christmas and here it is on top of a selection of notebooks I already have. It’s unused of course because it’s much too precious to write in!



I’m sure lots of you have a notebook fetish too. So tell me, where do you find your favourite notebooks?


12 comments:

  1. Oh Jennie I was smiling all the way through reading this. I love notebooks too. Now I want to be in France where I can buy some of those lovely ones you show. I do try to restrict my notebook habit as, like you, I have lots of empty ones already. But my friends and family know I love them so birthdays and Christmas usually produce one or two to add to the pile ...

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    1. Glad I made you smile Gill. I think most writers probably have a hoard of notebooks stashed away but always welcome new ones!

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  2. I'm drooling over your colourful notebooks, Jennie but am rather fussy when it comes to stationery buying. I don't think I'd cope very well with notebooks without lines and am not keen on the ones with metal rings in the spine. Not too big, not too small... But ahhh the delight when I find one which is just right... : )

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    1. I know Rae - I can't write in a straight line to save my life - have to have those lines! These days I find the A5 size with a pretty cover is perfect for me - fits into my bag nicely.

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  3. I'm drooling over this blog. I stock up on Pukka Pads during the back to school period even though I have so many. Gifts of special notebooks are brought out only to stroke before being put away again. It reminds me of my own long ago Septembers when I would return to school with new exercise books in every class. I would be so careful until that first blot of ink, sum added up wrong or words spelt wrong then my presentation went downhill. Happy days.

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    1. Oh Elaine, I so agree with you. September means new notebooks to me too - a left over from long ago schooldays. Thankfully no more covering the notebooks with brown paper though - they come with such pretty covers these days! Thanks for reading.

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  4. What a great post! I was nodding all the way through...I've got used to no lines in notebooks, in fact I think I now prefer it. However, I hate the graph paper, and got quite upset recently when I got home with a new stash of little notebooks, only to find they had the silly little squares in them. Which remind me of math!

    There is nothing quite like writing on the first page of a notebook either. My writing starts of very neat, and as I write myself into something becomes very messy, but hey ho that's life!
    Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Maria, I don't think I'll ever get used to no lines in notebooks and how French schoolchildren cope with writing on the graph paper is a mystery! There's a budget store in France called GiFi which you probably know, I find they often have lined notebooks without a graph in sight. Thanks for reading.

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  5. Ooh, Jennie! We're sisters under the skin! I have a terrible notebook habit, too. And a new notebook for every novel. AND I keep them all when I've finished with them...

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  6. We'll drown in a surfeit of notebooks together then Jennifer! When we moved up here from down south I very sadly had to throw away so much stuff but the notebooks stayed!

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  7. Oh my goodness, yes, how I understand all this. I get given notebooks and somehow I can't bring myself to write in them even though, like you, I like the connection between brain, hand, pen, paper. Brilliant and very uplifting post, Jennie.

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  8. Writing in the 'old-fashioned' way does seem to inspire the space between hand and brain doesn't it Linda? I also sometimes get a feeling of writing something that isn't quite right and find myself thinking why did I spoil this notebook?!

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