Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Stationery Porn 2: Black n' Red Notebooks

black n red notebooks

I blame Moleskines. I had never even though about notepad brands until I picked up one of those expensive little tarts in a store. Then I saw the little sticker they all have that boasts about how they were once the workbook of choice for Hemingway, Picasso, Jesus, or whoever. I wasn't immune to the romance of the idea. In that moment I suddenly had a vision of a bookshelf loaded with pleasingly battered-but-matching notebooks, each filled to bursting with my scribblings. What could be better?

Well, them not being Moleskines for a start. Regardless of their rather ridiculously high price, I discovered that I don't much care for them. The paper is too shiny and doesn't seem to absorb ink very well (an important factor when you're trying to write in a smudge-prone hurry). Plus, they make you look, well, a bit pretentious.

So now I'm going steady with the Black n' Red notepads pictured above instead: hardback, casebound, A5, ruled.

As well as being pleasingly European, the A5 size (148 x 210mm, or slightly wider than a sheet of letter paper folded in half) is just right for my needs. The books are small enough to be portable, but big enough to make writing on my lap reasonably easy. I'd already discovered that smaller pocket-sized pads are hard to write in when you don't have a desk handy as they offer no wrist support, which is the same reason a hard cover is also essential.

black n red scruffy edges Black n' Red offers similar books with a spiral wire binding, but I've never really cared for these: the pages can be ripped out too easily (often by accident) and the looser binding makes the whole thing feel flimsy and cheap. In contrast, these casebound pads have proper sewn-in pages, as well as a handy marker ribbon to make up for the lack of a place to store your pen.

But the thing I really love about these notebooks is the way that, as they wear and get scuffed around, the black around the edges rubs off to reveal red colouring underneath; sometimes it's the little things in life that are the most pleasing.

Originally published at Ludovician.com.

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