Saturday, December 30, 2017

Still Looking For the Perfect Notebook

I use Moleskines. It's one of the few luxuries I allow myself. I don't drink, smoke or eat out, it may well be that I do not have an article of clothing which is less than a year old, including briefs and socks, and what I have is all jeans and T-shirts -- but I use a Moleskine as a daily journal, and every year I buy a Moleskine planner. So, yeah: I'm one of the Moleskine people. I'm currently up to my 33rd Moleskine journal -- wait. No. It's my 32nd Moleskine journal, because I tried a Shinola notebook. The Shinola is journal Volume 31, 27 February 2016 -- 27 January 2017. It's been taking me longer to fill up each journal lately because I've been writing less in the journals and more on this blog. I try to write something in the journals every day, but for a lot of days, all I've written is "Blogged about [so-and-so]."

Most of my journals are pocket-sized, soft cover 192-page Moleskines with blank pages.

Moleskine counts each leaf as 2 pages, front and back, so some people -- certainly including me -- would tend to think of these "192-page" Moleskines as 96-sheet notebooks.

I got a pocket-size, soft-cover Moleskine 2018 monthly planner today at my local independent bookstore, with either approximately or exactly as many pages as one of those 192-"page," 96-sheet dealies. Monthly planner wouldn't have been my first choice, but it's December 30, duh, so the choice was limited. There were a few Shinola planners left. The Shinola notebook I used as a journal seems to me to be about as good as a Moleskine -- which is to say: very good, from my frame of reference. For most of my life I used whatever was the very cheapest option available at the supermarket: mostly either spiral notebooks or ring binders. Moleskine and Shinola are a big step up. The main reason I didn't get a Shinola 2018 planner today is because I'm annoyed by the way Shinola makes and markets watches, coming on like they're really something special quality-wise, but not offering one single mechanical model.

Some of Moleskine's yearly planners, pocket-sized, and larger, and smaller, have about twice as many pages. 400 pages altogether: 1 page for each day, and then some other pages at the front and back. Moleskine calls them "diaries." Maybe other people would call them "diaries" too. But for me, a volume with exactly 1 page for each day, no more and no less, is not an ideal diary, but functions perfectly well as an appointment book.

What I would like is a Moleskine, or some other item of comparable quality, with that many blank pages. Pocket-sized or smaller, soft cover, 400 "pages" -- that is, 200 sheets -- that would be awesome. I haven't found anything like that yet. If you know where I can get something like that, we'll be friends for life. Warning: the toughest part of that description to fulfill may be "Moleskine or comparable quality." Most of the notebooks, journals and diaries I've seen for sale simply don't cut it any more, the way they would've earlier in my life. Once you go Moleskine or Shinola, you don't go back.

This is what I get for not having gone into the book-binding business, so that I could make the perfect notebooks for myself.

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