Book Notebooks, Keeping Up With Tradition

Isn’t it weird how sometimes things seem to crop up at just the right time, or a memory pops into your head unbidden that then means a lot at a later point? I had a serious case of this over the weekend, which in its own way has rather a bookish twist.

I was just off to the post office to finally send Marieke Hardy a Chris Ware inspired pen pal parcel (if you are reading this – unlikely – Marieke I am sorry it has taken so long, I have written loads of excuses in my parcel) to Australia. As I waited in the never ending queue, and mourned the days of the post office being in the now closed local bookshop, I spotted some notebooks which instantly sent me off into the past. Bright red Silvine notebooks.

I can vividly remember Gran having these notebooks in which she kept all sorts of notes. Be they shopping lists, random things to remember or of course notes on what she was reading, in to these books they would go – those or some weird notebooks she inherited or possibly stole when she left her job. Initially I thought nothing of it, though it seemed apt I spotted them as I had really been missing her that morning, weird how random days can just get you the little buggers. But I bought one, popping a note about the memory of them in it, and included it in my parcel bound for Oz.

Anyway, as I said I didn’t think much of it after that. Until after having taken my old iPhone off to be sold, I went to catch up with my varying impending reviews and realised all my ‘bookish notes’ had failed to transfer from phone to phone. I was distraught, weeping almost happened, vexation hit. Awful.

Well after an hour blethering about it, moaning about it on twitter and then remembering I backed those notes up to Gmail – goodness only knows how, I can’t blinking remember. I came up with the idea that really I need to have hard copies of these notes, somewhere reliable and so I made a special trip up the road and came home with these…


Yes, four of the notebooks that Gran used to use. Four may seem excessive but at 59p a go you can’t go wrong can you, so how could I not? I have a wanton craving for stationery at all times and this sated it in the lead up to pay day. Most importantly though I liked the idea that a tradition of bookish sorts has been passed down the family line and now when I write my bookish notes I can think of Gran as I do so, not that she wouldn’t flit through my mind anyway, as it’s almost like I can write the notes to her as she’s not on the end of the phone.

Do you have fate filled moments like this? Have you gained any bookish hand me down traditions? Where do you keep your book notes? And one of the biggest mysteries of all (ha, how to hype a question) why is it people who love books also really love stationery?



Filed under Random Savidgeness

13 responses to “Book Notebooks, Keeping Up With Tradition

  1. kaggsysbookishramblings

    Oh, wanton cravings for stationery are very common round here. I work in an office with three other women who all have stationery habits like me. I won’t tell you how many blank notebooks I have (hint: they fill a large box…) Trouble is, I never know which one I’ve scribbled my book thoughts in…..! I think your Gran would be well chuffed you’re using the same type of notebooks as her – I used to use Silvine notebooks in my youth, when you could get ones with the marbled covers – lovely!

  2. I love, adore, admire, crave stationery. Can’t get enough of it and when I am down in the dumps from time to time I go out and buy either books or stationery. It’s all I need to cheer me up. Gran would love this story.

  3. ummlilia (June Seghni)

    I’m another stationery fiend. I bought this year’s diary last October because I coveted one of the beautiful Paperblanks designs. I then kept it in a fancy paper bag on the shelf and took it out periodically just to admire it, until the glorious day when I could officially use it. Much like I admire books for months before despoiling them by actually reading the things..!

  4. Haha! I think book lovers also love stationary because it brings back memories – such as those with your gran – or reminds us of the process of writing and making a book. Well, for me anyway – stationary is my weakness.

    I love that you are going old school with the notes; those red notebooks remind me of childhood and biros.

    (I think gmail syncs on it’s own, it’s scary and mystical like that.)

  5. I make my own books so my ‘stationary’ habits are kept strict but I do tend to have one of any type of new notebook (I have a silvine one just like those you just bought). I have to force myself to use them though because there’s a little more pressure-it’s more permanent, when I move they are a physical thing I need to figure out how to transport from place to place-but I’ve convinced myself it’s better if they are full (my silvine notebook served as my bullet journal for most of 2013). My bookish notes go into one book (cheapo marble composition), my to-read list in another (an experimental book I made), and my read list in yet another (large sized moleskine).
    I think readers also tend to be list-makers and jotters and doodlers and those are things the digital versions don’t really live up to in such a satisfying way as paper and pen.

  6. I still use hardback A4 laboratory notebooks for making notes in my laboratory even although nearly all the data is collected electronically. I have not made notes on a non-technical book since I left school. I do like nice stationery but I do not buy it. My weaknesses lie elsewhere.

  7. I have had such bookish emergencies myself, where some of the book that I’m trying (and failing at the moment) to write suddenly disappeared from my computer. Luckily I was able to retrieve the files, but from then on, I ALWAYS write in longhand first, then type it out and back everything up. That way, all is not lost.
    However, I can see why your notebooks will have added meaning to them.

  8. Ahh, stationery. I love notebooks the most, but pens are also pretty good. Paperchase is one of my favourite shops. I like bookshops where you can also buy notebooks!

  9. Oh, I remember those notebooks, I didn’t know they were still made! I love stationery too… I write all my book notes in my book-o-fax ( I also use an A5 diary to record my blog planning ( Somehow I find it much easier to do all of this on paper and then transfer to the PC.
    As for small things catching you off guard, I have the same problem now with my Dad. He has been gone for nearly six years, but so many things make me think of him.
    Gran would have been proud to see you with the notebooks 🙂

  10. Sarah

    Those Silvine notebooks bring back a lot of childhood memories for me, as they were stocked in the corner shop I used to visit with my gran. She used them, as did my granda. I love stationary as much as I love books, and if I see a notebook I like, I cannot resist buying it. I am lucky that I do write a lot of notes in my job, but perhaps not enough to justify all the stationary I have!

  11. Jo

    Oh yes! I LOVE notebooks and have quite a good selection, all too lovely to use. One of my favourites comes from Il Papiro, the added bonus, they come beautifully wrapped. I have been known to leave them wrapped in the bag for years!

  12. Elizabeth


    I don’t have any way I keep notes. But I do love stationery. I also have a pen-pal I have had since the age of ten. That means we have written for going on thirty-three years.

    I just bought some cute notecards today on sale for one penny.

  13. I used to use notecards. In fact, some of my older reads still have these cards tucked between the pages, but switched to using my iPhone to collect my thoughts/notes. This post scared me. Maybe I’ll switch to using the notebook as well. I would be absoltuely devastated if I lost my notes as I’m always so far behind. I have the habit of collecting a lot and then writing several things in one go.

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