As addictions go, it’s not a bad one. Less expensive than most, although not strictly cheap, it is nevertheless a problem. I am almost incapable of restraining myself from buying new notebooks. If I come across an unused notebook in our house, I snatch that up too.

The top notebook is really cool. It’s blank on the left side and lined on the right side, so a really gifted person could sketch and journal all in the same place. It has two ribbons, although I can’t figure out why, and the paper is soft and flat. The only downside: it’s a little too small. Perfect for my purse, but the little doodles get out of sync from the journal entries, and I find it maddening.

The next one is my main notebook. I use it to quasi-bullet journal, keeping calendar items and to do lists on every page by date, along with a monthly habit tracker and random ideas and lists. I go through one of these every 6–8 weeks, which is why the pile of used notebooks looks like this:

The next one down is a mixed media notebook for sketching and watercolors. I use it only sporadically but the paper is lovely. It’s heavy and bright. It’s so nice, I feel like I’m squandering it with my crapola art work.

On the bottom of the pile is my son’s old Spanish notebook, which he used only three times. I decided not to worry about that (his Spanish grades were fine), and tore the used pages out. I use it for longer lists and writing stories. I also use one of the dozen old legal pads I keep on my desk for that purpose. These are slim pads with the ten remaining pages after I’ve used the rest of the pad for a case I was working on. I try to type those pages up as quickly as I can so they don’t float around and get lost.

The fact that I have only four notebooks is a testament to my self-control. I live near two independent bookstores, two precious housewares stores and a huge art supply store, so I am tempted multiple times a week by new notebooks. I occasionally succumb when a notebook is intended for a purpose I haven’t yet considered. That’s why there’s an empty travel notebook that’s been sitting on my desk for three years.

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