5 Matching Annotations
  1. Dec 2023
    1. What’s this about?

      Cursory overview of Roland Allen's book: The Notebook (reply to u/eggbunni at https://www.reddit.com/r/ilovestationery/comments/17lpbzb/comment/kcmicw5/?utm_source=reddit&utm_medium=web2x&context=3)

      Broadly, it's exactly about what the title indicates. I had to purchase a copy shipped from the UK, so mine has only just arrived in Los Angeles. As a result, I've not read it fully yet beyond a cursory glance.

      You can find a reasonable overview at Amazon, and there are a few reviews of it, primarily in UK-based papers (Telegraph, Guardian) where the book has been released. Personal communication with some friends who have journaling, note taking, and commonplace book practices say they've been enjoying it a lot, particularly on the history of the notebook and related forms of stationery and writing practices. It needn't be read linearly.

      It's got a reasonable section on the history of paper and papermaking. Sections on friendship books, waste books, travelers and their notebooks, diaries and journals, bullet journaling, artists and scientists and even police uses, and many others. It does have a full chapter on commonplace books, particularly since 1512 though it's not nearly as comprehensive as Earle Haven's book, for example. There are also examples of a variety of specific people's uses as well as photos of their notebooks/papers interspersed.

      For the stationery nerd, it may be one of the more interesting potential gifts one might give, especially if you don't know their particular desires for papers, notebooks, pens, pencils, etc. in advance. I can say the heft and paper quality of the book is particularly nice for a mass produced volume and it's got some reasonable margins for writing one's notes in the book. I've already ordered a handful of copies for friends who have the gentle madness for stationery.

      Having some academic background in the area of intellectual history and many of the areas that Allen is writing in, I will say that this looks like a very accessible, popular press overview of writing and notebooks that touches on almost all of the highpoints that I would expect it to have and even a few I wouldn't have expected.

  2. May 2023
    1. My magic trick (having faced a similar dilemma with many lovely notebooks over the years) is to turn to the first double page and write in large lettersDON'T BE AFRAID TO MAKE YOUR MARK UPON LIFE'S PAGE.And just like that the new notebook spell is broken and the pen is free to write again.
  3. Feb 2017
    1. A composition should be "a body, not a mere collection of members,"9 but it should be a living body.

      This reminds me of Lessing's The Golden Notebook. The issue of writing and ownership is something that is playing out as the protagonist (a writer) discusses her published work as something which doesn't even feel like it belongs to her; she thinks of it more as the property of her readers, and is ashamed of her work and confused as to why critics like it. Hill seems to almost think of composition as a separate body with a life of its own, and the author is something of a parent who brings the composition into being. Where does this position the audience, and what makes a written work a "living body"? Of rhetoric doesn't make a work "alive," what does?