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15 September 2006

My Notebook

Tough little black book

A few days ago, Eleni's father came through Athens, and in the few hours he was in town we went to eat and walked to Syntagma for coffee. Somewhere around Evripidou street he said he'd want a notebook for a journal and asked me where to get a good notebook in Athens. I pull out the little black notebook I use and recommend it. As it seems he was looking for something cheaper... which is ironic, since we went to Syntagma square for coffee, another term for throwing money out of the window.

The brand of my notebook is in fashion, it's a Moleskine. There is a big marketing hype around these notebooks (that BBC article gives a good roundup of some of the ambivalences about these things). So much hype indeed, that I at times felt an urge to look out for something else. They are quite expensive too. But I didn't buy mine, both the small, plain one and the bigger one have been presents. I keep and use them for some simple reasons: They are very useful and tough enough for me. I carry the small notebook with me every day since more than two years now, traveling all around Greece and Athens. I did not expect it to survive that long, even given that I don't carry it in my trousers pockets. But so far it has kept up and with no prospect of failure apparent either. The binding is enduring, the outer cover is absent of cracks. Apart from that it's a functional notebook.

notebook page with drawing from Palaiokastro, Limnos

With these notebooks it has become a fashion to publish pages from it. Especially the painters and sketchers love it and I enjoyed some good examples online. To show you what I do with mine, I've put the picture online. Mostly I scribble down thoughts and ideas, small things I try to remember, to-do lists, anything. Sometimes I can get enough spirit up to do a little drawing. I like drawing with a normal pen. It is very hard, every little mistake shows up, but when I like the result it is a good reward. The picture show's the cape of "Palaiokastro" near Plaka on the island of Limnos. Of course as I'm not an artist, these pages are very rare. (Click on the image for a bigger view.)

When I went to the bookshop on Wednesday I turned the marketing hype upside down. Instead of buying a moleskine because of the famed reputation Bruce Chatwin gave them (via the marketing hype), I went and bought the book in which Chatwin mentions the notebook.

Posted by betabug at 22:47 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
ch athens
Life in Athens (Greece) for a foreigner from the other side of the mountains. And with an interest in digital life and the feeling of change in a big city. Multilingual English - German - Greek.
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