Sunday, January 20, 2008

Notebook Remorse?

I think I screwed up.

I should know by now that when I find a good thing it’s best to stick with it.

But I get restless. And I guess I still believe in miracles. So when I spot a new possibility, I have to try it.

I mean, it’s only a notebook, right? And I go through several a year. Always holding out hope that the perfect one might be the trigger for the ultimate idea, thought, line, word, story, song.

I had a brief flirtation with Moleskine a while back. I was playing shows with Richard Shindell and one night he burst into the dressing room, declaring that he’d found the perfect notebook.

“How far apart are the lines?” I had to know. Because line width has always been a sticking point for me. Too narrow’s not good, I can’t write that small. Too wide trivializes thoughts, like I should be putting hearts or circles over the i’s.

Richard understood this. He showed me his notebook, and I had to admit it was absolutely perfect. I ran out the next morning and bought one.

But Moleskines are expensive. Which was one thing when they were hard to find. It seemed worth it somehow. But now they’re prominently displayed in practically every bookstore, stationery or art supply store. I resent them selling the idea of the perfect notebook.

I think I liked Clairefontaine best. Cheap, colorful, not too hard to find. Good line width. But here in France, the lined ones are tough to come by. Graph paper seems to be the norm. All those little squares disturb me, make me think I should be solving math problems. But, as with everything these days, I’m trying to adapt to the cultural differences. Maybe if I can organize my thoughts like the French people do, the language will come easier. But I’m not sure it’s working.

So I keep looking.

Then the other day I spotted this new notebook. Beautiful paper, slightly textured cover, bound like a paperback. Cheap price! I had to take a chance. There were all sorts of colors, so if I like it I can go back and try all of them.

But there was one major drawback. No lines. I took the plunge anyway, but it immediately felt wrong. But it’s too late to turn back now. Maybe it’ll unleash something. Maybe this will be the one.

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