Friday, 13 January 2017

Notebook Musings 02 Size and Style

photo: www.startbaynotebooks.com
The vast range of notebook sizes and styles ensures that there really IS something for everyone out there. I reckon the ultimate buying decision is influenced by the customer's intended use, experience, finances and easy availability of the product.

I was several years into adulthood when Britain switched from Imperial to Metric for most paper and book sizes and, as quarto was only slightly different from A4, it was an easy transition for me to accept.

Less acceptable size-wise was the Midori TN system which I suspect, was created to ensure that insert users would be tied-in to their tall and thin proportion pages or, the 'passport' version which is a kind of hybrid slightly south of Field Notes and A6 in size but well north of both in cost.

I formed a teenage dislike for spiral bound notebooks since they were hell to arrange neatly on shelves and, a bit like those wire coat-hangers that dry cleaning shops used, tended to attempt a mating ritual when left alone for more than an hour or two in the darkness of a closet.

Plastic spirals were even more ill-behaved than the metal variety and, although I was often forced to use ring-binders with spring clips at work it always seemed to my tactile mind that the combination of metal and paper was never going to be a match made in heaven. I still have a scar on the top of my left index finger from almost half a century ago when a Filofax clip system bit back!

Staples are always a cheap option, especially for notebooks of slender thickness. But, even in premium brands staples have a tendency to rust with age. Perfect binding looks good if well done and where a lay-flat facility is not important whilst stitch binding can be cheap, durable and non-obtrusive.

Cover materials and designs for individual notebooks are limitless. There must surely be something for everyone somewhere? When it comes to covers for the covered notebook ...Midori, TN, Fauxdori and their ilk, then leather seems the favoured option with a scattering of fabric options for those who prefer non-animal products. I was once given a rubber cover which owed more to Dunlop than to Durex and made the apartment reek like a branch of  KwikFit until we figured out the source and chucked it out.

So where am I now?  Happy, that's where. And somewhere around this time next week I shall reveal the system that I aim to retain until ... but hey, let's not get morbid. 

Here is a clue. The innards are designed in Italy and made in the Far East. The covers once clothed an animal and are created by an artisan enthusiast on the Devon Coast who is so available and efficient that, even during the week before Christmas, was able to deliver my order within 72 hours.

Thanks for reading.