Paper snobbery?


I’ve already admitted here to my addiction—nothing illegal or unhealthy—just pens and paper. Just? I’ll not live long enough to spread all the ink I have over the paper I own. I try, sort of, to control the urge to buy yet another pen or another notebook to wield with said pen. And because most of my writing begins on paper, I’m drawn to the promise of the right combination of these two basic tools. So, I laughed out loud recently reading Helen Hood’s novel, The Book That Matters Most, in which all ten members of a book club keep their notes in Moleskine notebooks. Did Hood, I wonder, earn a life supply of notebooks from Moleskine? She deserves it.

            My own office shelves are well stocked with just that paper. The history included in each new notebook claims two centuries of usage that includes the likes of Picasso and Hemmingway. I’m not really a notebook snob but, yes, I am fussy about the tools of our trade. Writing is at times a chore, a frustration, a worry, but it need not be a clumsy annoyance, the pen skittering out of control. It’s hard enough to control disobedient characters, poems that resist images. So, I want my work to be satisfying, and snobbery aside, a good pen on the right paper is as important as a painter’s brush or a surgeon’s scalpel. Well, almost…


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