PAPYROPHILIA: Crazy about Notebooks

The rush from a new notebook. Do you relate to that phrase? If so, you may be a papyrophiliac. That is, someone who has an obsessive love of paper. I think the term can be extended to those of us who are wild about office or school supplies. Notebooks, pens, pencils, eraser, index cards, and stickies (my affectionate term for post-its).

My new baby.

Don’t start me on stickies. Tiny, medium, long and narrow, wide and square. Lined, unlined. Pastel or fluorescent. My daughter attempted to make me promise never to buy another pad of them for as long as I live because my supply will surely outlast me. I resisted the pledge, knowing I would never fulfill it.

But there is nothing like a new notebook. First, the search. The notebook need not be expensive; it only needs to feel right to the writer. I am partial to spiral notebooks because they open fully when I write in them, but now there are notebooks with new flexible spines that do the same. A whole new world has opened. I do not exaggerate.

The cover may vary. I can be spellbound by a plain Moleskine or captivated by a floral design. I always buy lined because I like my sentences to be orderly. I tend to buy notebooks with wider spaces between the lines because I write large. The paper must feel right. For a while, I was mad about notebooks with pages made of stone. They were as soft as a baby’s bottom. But my fountain pen ink smeared on them, so I’m not terribly disappointed I can no longer find them.

The pleasure only begins once a new notebook has been purchased. What will I use my new notebook for? Will it contain the daily lists I write each morning to stay organized and accountable? Or will it be dedicated to a book I am writing where I will place new ideas, character profiles, and general musings? Maybe I will save it to chronicle a trip I am planning to take in the future. The contemplation, like for a vacation, is half of the fun.

Yesterday I discovered a notebook with a beautifully designed cover of Pride and Prejudice, my all-time favorite book. It’s a lovely shade of teal with a peacock with gold etched feathers standing on an urn. The paper is lovely and there is a teal satin ribbon divider. You won’t be surprised to learn I swooned when I found it or that I sniffed the paper.

I’ll close with that “TMI” admission and ask, do you my love affair with notebooks and all things stationery? Don’t be shy…

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