I’m about as techie as they come. I always seem to have a gadget of some sort on me and more often than not, I’ve got more than one. Since starting this weblog, I’ve been carrying around my Dana wherever I go and use it to jot down thoughts and ideas. Yet with all this technology surrounding me, I find that I still have a love affair with paper.
I use paper less and less these days, but I still pack a National Brand 43-571 stitch bound notebook that serves as my journal. Since college, I’ve used this style of notebook and I’m now in my 6th one. I love the cloth covered cardboard covers which protect the light green ruled and numbered pages underneath. I found these notebooks at the LSU bookstore and it’s the only place that I’ve found them. I think it’s a lab notebook, but all my Google searches turn up Chemistry class overviews requiring the. Every few years I go by the bookstore when I’m in Baton Rouge and stock up. It’s not that the notebooks have the best paper, or anything of that nature, I just like them.
My love affair with paper doesn’t end their either. I also use Levenger yellow ruled letter pads. Now that’s good paper. If I’m in a meeting, or if I just need to jot down some ideas or sketches for a web site, I always turn to my Levenger legal pads. The paper is some of the best I’ve ever written on. It has a certain weight to it and ink just flows over it like butter. If you find yourself writing a lot, I seriously encourage you to check these pads out. They come in ruled, unruled and grid styles in white or yellow stock.
Although business cards can be used as a make shift note to write something down for a new acquaintance, or a customer, I’ve found that I prefer 3×5 note cards. These are made by Levenger as well and give the user a nice sized card in which to jot down something. The stock is of high quality and you feel like you’ve really given something to someone instead of just a slip of paper. How do I use them? Well, I tend to talk to people all over town and if a topic comes up where there is a web site, or a product that I want them to remember, I’ll write it down. Since I tend to wear so many hats, having to carry a variety of business cards is a bit of a pain. Instead, the note cards I use have my name, address and telephone numbers on it. From there I can write down the information and not have to explain the card.
For example, lets say that I’m in CompUSA and I run into someone looking at Palm OS handhelds. I usually strike up a conversation and in the course of our discussions, I’ll inform them that there is a local Palm OS User Group here in Nashville. Instead of having to carry NPUG card with me, I just jot down the URL on the note card instead. It’s a little more personal and it doesn’t give the feeling that I’m trying to sell them something.
In addition, the note cards are also handy if you need to jot down a quick note for yourself. I often find myself making little to-do lists on them from time to time. Granted, a handheld works great for that task, but there’s something tangibly satisfying about being able to scratch off a to-do item. Some days I need that experience and a note card is just the ticket.
Of course you can’t have a serious relationship with paper without having a nice pen. My pen for the last couple of years has been the Lamy Safari clear fountain pen. Those that know me know that I have an affinity for clear Palm OS devices, so when I saw this pen on display, I just had to have it. I’ve been known to lose a pen or two in my time, but I’ve been lucky and have been successful in hanging on to this one for a little over a year now.
I love fountain pens and each Levenger catalog that comes in mail teases me with new and exciting pens. If money were no object, I’m sure that I would have 100’s of pens by now. I remember courting a black Waterman “Opera” pen for a year in a local stationary store in Baton Rouge many moons ago. It was a beautiful pen and featured a herringbone pattern in the black lacquer. It was a discontinued model and thus made it rare, but I could never seem to afford the $300 for the pen and one day it was simply gone from the display case. I was sorry to see it go. It was a loss for sure, but there are plenty of other fabulous fountain pens out there in the world and I lust after them just as much.
A Complex Affair
I guess my love affair with paper and pens has some relationship to writing as a whole. I love books and clearly I seem to love writing as well. These passions must go hand-in-hand with this weblog, which must explain my new found propensity for publishing so much content. It’s an awkward balance though. The more I type into this weblog, the less I journal and the end result is that I end up typing more than writing. I’m still new to this writing thing, so perhaps I’ll find a better balance where I can write a little bit more than I’m doing now.
So for now the tech side of things is winning, but I still have my paper and I doubt I’ll ever give it up. How about you? Do you still use paper, or is your world mostly digital? Please share your thoughts with me on your relationship with paper by posting a comment to this entry. Who knows, maybe I’m not so out of the ordinary as I think I am. 🙂
I’ve always been a stationary fanatic. I’m very picky about my pens and pencils and erasers. Though I’m not as picky with my paper, I still use Post-It notes much more than MemoPad on PalmOS…
Since I work at a bookstore, I have the opportunity to be around fine papers and pens all of the time. This year, I decided that I was going to write all of my Christmas cards using not only a fountain pen, but one that requires an ink well. I bought a kit that came with a jar of ink, a glass pen, and a stylus with 6 points. It took a little bit of writing to get used to how the pens worked, but I am glad that I took the time to do it.
I completely understand. I don’t think I could ever give up my Franklin planner. It’s where my life is. I’m also keeping a journal, and the process of writing something down is so much more satisfying than typing. I still use my quad-point from Franklin-Covey, though. I like the versatility, and as much as I’d love to use fountain pens, they don’t work well for left-handers. 😉
The trick to finding the notepads is to know that they are actually made by Avery and that most sites know the code as AVE 43571. A google for AVE 43571 can get you started in the right direction.
Great find Mark! Thanks for the heads up on this. Now I can find these notebooks with ease!
I found this site while searching for the “National Brand 43-571” lab books and was so glad for Mark’s tip about finding them. They’re great little books. Nice to know there are people who appreciate that. I’m a graphic designer and love paper, stationery, business cards — all of that stuff. I did convert from a paper planner to a Palm about two and a half years ago, primarily becasue I couldn’t find a satisfactory paper planner (my Covey planner had been consumed by Franklin, altered and eventually discontinued altogether). But I’ll always be interested in paper and related items.
Clairefontaine makes some cool compasition notebooks that take fountain pen writing very well. some of the fountain pen on line stores carry them, the importer is Exaclair.com. I like Ampad “Gold Fiber” pads from Staples for the pen & ink thing. Crane has excelent stationery, G. Lalo, is excellent, and the Amalfi stationery is a dream to use. Oh! Look up MOLSKINES notebooks, these are old school and way kewl. Sometimes found at Borders Books. What ink do you like? Levenger Cobalt Blue, Private Reserve Copper Burst, Aurora Black, and Waterman Blue. Fountain Pens: Lamy All Star in broad for addressing envelopes. Pilot Lucina in Medium for writing. Waterman Phileas in medium for note taking. I have a late 50’s Pelikan 140 in a fine point that is an everyday pen. I have a newly aquired Sheaffer Balance lever fill from around 1937-1940 in a fine. That one I want to get the nib smoothed, as it is a little scratchy. I have several Pelikan’s that are NIB (new in box) never inked: a GO!, a Futura, an M200 Amber, and a 605 Double Broad Oblique. I also just got a Stipula 22 with a Titanium nib in Italic. On order is a Conway Stewart 58 and a Levenger Samba with a titanium nib. Some people buy golf clubs others fishing equipment I like guns & fountain pens.
I was trying to locate the Chem/Lab notebook 43571 and Mark’s comment helped me locate it. I have just overnighted a box of the notebooks, and they look very DIFFERENT!!!
Apparently, Avery has CHANGED the look of the notebook:
– the edges are not curved any more but pointed and sharp
– it is by about 3/16″ narrower
– the cover is dark-blue vinyl
– the bound edge is not bound with cloth strip, but rather the vinyl extends from one cover to the other.
The notebook looks cheaper and less durable. STAPLES customer support will take them back and they recommended notebook 464190 with vinil aligator-skin cover.
I would rather not experiment. Where can I buy 43571 in old style?
You might just want to try another vendor. I did a quick google and found that InstaOffice appears to have the old style Avery notebooks. You could e-mail, or call them before you order just to be sure that they are the old style.
Either Staples has a different version, or they have the latest version and finding the old style from vendors who still have them is the key.
Anyway, check out this link and let us know how it turns out. 🙂
hello 43571 lovers –
i have now tried ordering the notebook on three different sites, but they always send the blue vinyl one. any idea where else they might be found?
desperately seeking –
My love affair with paper began when I was 16 and using Crane’s to write love letters to my boyfriend, a Midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy. By 19, I had graudated to G.Lalo. (I still have two sheets/envelopes from my first box.)
From there I became obsessed with Pineader, in all the magnificent colors. From Levengers I acquired my own stationery engraved with my name in Spencerian script.
I travel a great deal, acquiring along the way all sorts of indigenous paper (including the wonderful Amalfi). Some of it is fine, like the handmade, illuminated sheets from a French chateau, and some of it is inexpensive, like the cheap greeting card from Costa Rico.
I hoard my paper, using the absolutely perfect piece for an occasion. Recently I wrote to a new friend on paper I’d acquired in Germany in 1979.
I make my own paper, having learned at The Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts.
One of my mother’s favorite anecdotes is the time she patiently sat on the steps of a store in Toronto while I amassed $400 worth of fine papers.
I adore my paper. Each day I either stroke a piece, smell a piece, see the variations in a marbelized piece, or write a special letter on a piece.
You folks are certainly not alone. I’m among the obsessed.
PS: I’m a writer – of course!
Writing Implements – another obsession
1. My daddy’s Moore brand fountain pen, 1934.
A Duquesne Light safety award, this pen was a prized possession he carefully stored in the china closet. Each time I use it, my thoughts stray to the many, many times I saw him sitting at the dining room table writing in his left-handed, self-described “chicken scratch.” I had it rehabbed at Tucker’s Pen Hospital in Philadelphia.)
2. My Aunt Virginia’s circa 1950 Parker fountain pen, with which she wrote a lifetime of love letters to her dear companion Chuck.
3. Hildegard’s gold pencil, engraved with her name in her own handwriting. An Object of Desire for which I paid $500 at her estate sale. (I’m sure you all have your collection of Objects of Desire.)
Hildegarde is the famous Cabaret singer known as The Incomparable Hildegarde, famous for the song, Darling Je Vous Aime Beaucoup.