The Fancy Notebook Conundrum.

The other night was an evening of celebration. My roommate and I went off to one of my favorite restaurants, Baisi Thai, where there was feasting and our usual nerdy babble. The discussion drifted onto books, which lead me to make the executive decision to drift over to Barnes & Noble. There, we did a lot of mocking, flailed over all the Terry Pratchett books being grossly out of order, and I decided that I should treat myself in celebration of publishing Bowlful of Bunnies with the purchase of a fancy notebook.

Spoils of the evening: Teavana tea (Six Summits+Monkey Picked+Silver Needle), delectable beef fried rice, and the ubiquitous Fancy Notebook.

Ahhh, the fancy notebook! How many hours have I spent longingly looking at you, wishing for more money in my pocket, so that I could fill you with brilliant thoughts from the collaboration between my mind and my pencil? Now, anyone who knows me well knows that, for the most part, I have a very specific type of notebook I like to use. They’re smaller (which means easy to carry anywhere), compact, and there’s just something about the line spacing, the weight of the paper, everything, that makes it perfect for me. I’ve only ever been able to find them at Meijer stores (and I stock up whenever I’m near one, which is all too rarely here in Illinois!), and they’re the best. I have literal stacks of them, and it’s always bittersweet when I fill one up.

However, I have no reservations about filling them up. The fancy notebooks, however, the ones with the nice bindings and the pretty covers, sometimes with a ribbon to mark your place or a band to keep it closed…now those are another story. I love fancy notebooks, the feel of them, and I love the idea of pouring out words and filling them up. However, I’m usually too terrified to do so. See, a quality notebook like a fancy notebook requires quality writing. My usual notebooks can be filled up with as much drivel as I please, since I can just tear out the pages or abandon the words for a new page if I’m dissatisfied. Leaving something awful in a fancy notebook or ripping pages out of it, though, seems sacrilegious. Blasphemous! Nothing but the finest should go into a notebook so fine.

Do you ever find yourself faced with the conundrum of what to fill your fancy notebooks with? Are you impartial to what you’re writing in, or do you save the best stuff for the really nice notebooks? What would you suggest I fill my newest fancy notebook with? Every time I look at it, I see how it’s filled with potential. It’s just a matter of making a decision and being confident that whatever I choose will be just the thing to turn that fancy notebook into something magical.

Also, on a random note, I realized that I rather like to use the word “conundrum.”


  1. no doubt that is a conundrum! I have two such “fancy notebooks” and all I write in are spiral notebooks…. saving only ..the good handwriting and ideas for the fancy ones….

    But to be honest my best writing is done in the spirals…… the fancy notebooks are kind of a facade to me the real meat is in the spiral notebooks and the desserts are in the fancy notebooks…

  2. I have a slightly fancy one, but it sits there mostly unused. I prefer to jot down in a cheaper one. I don’t know why other than I don’t want to spoil the fancy one.

    One a separate subject have you seen ?? It might be useful now you have a book to promote.

  3. All art is an act of destruction. Seriously. I had so many fancy (blank) notebooks, because, what else do you give a “writer” for a gift giving holiday or birthday? Until one day I said, “F this.” and started writing in my fancy notebooks.

    Just think of yourself as… Michael Angelo destroying a block of marble. It gets easier to destroy the pretty.

  4. People — my customers who are also my friends — often bring me gifts: most frequently, coffee and those Fancy Notebooks you speak of. I’ve accumulated a vast number of them. Though I’m deeply appreciative — truly, I am — and though I never take for granted the fact that people would even care to buy me gifts, I have a horrible a confession, between the two of us, LS:

    I don’t use these books. I don’t care for them. They collect dust in the corner of my bedroom.

    But they’re such beautiful books that I can’t bring myself to throw them away.

    Now that’s what I call a conundrum . Which, by the way, I sell a ton of this time of year.

    Best of all possible regards,


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