On Keeping a Notebook...

"The impulse to write things down is a peculiarly compulsive one, inexplicable to those who do not share it, useful only accidentally, only secondarily, in the way that any compulsion tries to justify itself," so writes Joan Didion in her 1966 essay "On Keeping a Notebook" (in Slouching Towards Bethlehem). In this essay Didion attempts to sort out what exactly pushes her to write down disparate bits of thoughts, events, and sauerkraut recipes through obsessive note taking. I admit, I am an ardent notebook observer. Though I am nowhere near as compulsive as I used to be, I tend write down endless to-do lists and thoughts of seeming importance, only to reread them later, unable to grasp the intended significance. The resonance of keeping a notebook is not immediate, argues Didion, but long term; as it is only when you read your notebook years later that you reach forgotten memories and begin to regain a sense of past selves.

In this spirit, whether you are a compulsive, casual, or wishful notebook keeper, check out our selection of spry notebooks from Chronicle Books, Field Notes, and Scout Books in shop.

A sneak peak, just for you...

Julia Rothman's Typewriter journal
Suzy Altman's Turtles and Toadstools Journal
Mike Lowery's Little Mountain Home Journal
Jeffrey Brown's Cat Companion Journal

Pantone 2012 Color of the Year Journal
Matte Stephens' Summer City Journal
The Great Lakes Goods' Stay Golden Journal
DwellStudio's Labyrinth Journal
Junzo Terada's Animals at Work and Play Journal

Field Notes, big and small

3-pack of Scout Books

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