Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I Love Notebooks

I love notebooks. Who doesn't? The scent and feel of fresh paper is just heavenly. In kindergarten, I remember asking people (my teachers, mostly) for notebooks in exchange for my artworks: sketches, colored cliparts, etc. A pocket Golden Gate Bridge* notebook was a delight at that time. Or a writing notebook with a cartoon character on the cover. My favorite notebooks then were those with Little Twin Stars and Rainbow Brite covers. Sadly I wasn't able to keep any of these notebooks.

Through time, my love for notebooks did not wane. I became more enamored with them, together with other paper products. Recently, as I read and follow various pen and paper blogs, I marvel at how many people love notebooks as much as I do. Most particular are the writeups by Jackie Flaherty on pens and paper, Okami's 37 notebooks, and many others as featured in the site Notebook Stories.

Inspired by these, I gathered all of my (known) notebooks, took a couple of photos, and here they are: all 55 of them. (Gasp.) Yes, 55. And no, I'm not aware I had that much. There are still a lot that didn't make it to the photo because they're hidden somewhere and I just couldn't find them. (These photos are also in my Flickr account. Check them out!)

There are 55 notebooks in this photo. Details on the photos below.

First stack of notebooks on the top row. There are 5 notebooks in this stack, but only the Merit Fat Notebook on top is in use. The colorful Eagle notebook below it has fountain pen friendly paper.

Second and third stacks on the top row. There are 6 notebooks in the second stack, the Corona stack has 6. In the second stack, in use are the blue notebook written with "Promise of Summer" and the one with red cover and colored dividers. In the third stack, the one written with "2009" and the other with colored post-its are both in use.

Fourth and fifth stacks on the top row. There are 7 notebooks in the fourth stack, the fifth has 2. In the Blue Feather (fourth) stack, the third from top is in use - I write in this notebook all the details of the postcards I send. In the last stack, I use the James Dean Sterling notebook to take down notes during staff meetings.

First and second stacks in the middle row. The stack with Sterling on top has the most notebooks - there are 11 notebooks on this stack! Notice that I have a lot of Sterling notebooks. These are very fountain pen friendly and I just love hoarding them. The other stack has two Eagle notebooks from Office Warehouse. These notebooks are fountain pen friendly too.

Second and third stacks in the middle row. The Army notebook on the second stack is from Vietnam, a friend brought it home for me. The Black notebook on the same stack is very unique - it is meant for pens with metallic gel inks only. The two notebooks on the third stack are both very special. The purple Windy Season is a friend's gift from Singapore, and the orange Oxford ActiveBook is also a gift - it's from Slovenian photographer Robert Reich whom I met through Postcrossing.

The last stack in the middle row - my black notebooks. The two thick black notebooks at the bottom are Paperchase Journals I got from Booksale for P170 each (around $3.50). On top of them is my battered-but-scotch-taped Moleskine that I am using as my personal Journal. The one on top of my Molie is the Page One notebook I'm using as my Bucket List. The small blue notebook topmost is Korean made and I use it for jotting down random notes.

Bottom row, first and second stacks. Left: A small notebook from Indonesia. It has plain paper inside, but the cover is made from colorful Indonesian Batik and beads. Right: The black Diamond Memo is a Midori notebook from Japan. The colorful notebook underneath is from India.

The last stacks in the bottow row, left to right: Leather-covered Cusco Peru notebook, this was featured in Notebookism.com sometime in 2007; Kraft paper notebook from China; hardbound notebook from China with Jade accent on the cover.

There are more notebooks in my drawers at home and at the office, and in my boxes of stuff from my parents' house. I just got too lazy to look for them and include them here. I'm a notebook hoarder, or perhaps an addict - but what the heck, I use them to organize things around me - it's just that the speed of buying them tremendously exceeds how I use them. Now, I got 55. Who knows how many more I'll get? *Wink.*


  1. Hi!
    Ran into your blog while Googling some local notebook brands (ie our competition!)

    Check out our custom notebook website :)

    And let me know what you think of our concept in our comments page there :)


  2. Amanda, I will write my ideas about The Notebook Machine on this blog. Watch out for it!

  3. Anonymous11:45 AM


    Nice blog there! :) Chanced upon your blog when I goggled notebooks. Anyway, I am actually a student from Singapore and my friends and I are helping a charity organisation develop new art craft products and one of our products is batik wrapped notebooks.

    Hope you can drop me a mail at min.eleven@gmail.com if you are interested to find out more about our notebooks :) I can send you some photos via email too! :)

    Do add our batik notebooks into your collection!

    Huimin :)

  4. Huimin, I'll email you about this. Thanks for reading my blog!

  5. Anonymous9:49 AM

    I'm always so happy to see that there are people out there with bigger addictions than mine. Makes me feel so...'normal.'

  6. Hi! What a Nice Blog you got there!

    have you tried the 'Dialogue Notebook' from grandluxe.com? i got mine from fullybooked (cubao). :)

  7. Oh gosh. I have a love for notebooks too and reading your blogs about notebooks makes me happy!! :) My collection doesn't reach as much as yours yet but I hope to make it bigger like yours

  8. Yes, but how can an American hoarder of notebooks locate the Sterling? I'm quite fond of many from a lot of different places. Moleskines, Clairefontaine, Boorum & Pease, and many a cheapie from U.S., or mostly China. Read about Flannery O'Connor at Iowa's workshop in the 40's, using a lined paper Sterling notebook, and found the unworkable Philippine Web site for Sterling. Frustation City Arizona.

  9. I wish i can find vintage artista/cartoon notebooks from the early 80s like Durex,Paperhaus,Celebrity,etc. I still have some with Dawn Zulueta,Sharon Cuneta,Julie Vega and Gabby Concepcion.