Friday, 29 March 2013

The End of an Era: My Review Notebook

Today is a sad day, Ladies and Gentlemen. A sad panda day, to be exact.

Last night I used up the very last page of the notebook I bought to keep my review thoughts in when visiting Ellie last May. This is A Big Deal.

1) I have never finished a notebook in my entire life. I buy them because they're pretty and designate it to a particular project... then invariably get tired of the project and stow the notebook away in a drawer. It amazes me every day that after almost two years I still haven't wandered away from Booking in Heels, so the fact that I've actually used up a notebook as well is unbelievable.

2) Memories, in three parts. Firstly, I had a great time visiting Ellie last year - the sun was shining, I bought books and generally had a lovely day. My panda notebook reminds me of Ellie and her little shop, so it generally sheers me up when I'm sad.

Secondly, Lewis and I have a thing about pandas. I won't bore you with the origin story, but it's part of the reason I bought this in the first place. The panda face on the front reminds me of Lewis and last Summer, which was great. Plus there's a little note in the front he added when I wasn't looking.

Lastly and obviously, it reminds me of the books I've read. I tend to write in here at the time of reading, so there are some quite emotional responses as well as train-of-thought reasoning. There's also the occasional receipt glued in from when I was reading somewhere without my notebook and just had to make notes.

3) I get attached to things. In general, really. It's actually a lesser-known OCD trait - attaching significance to trivial items. A lot of people do it to some extent, but it tends to be deeper with OCD sufferers. I haven't managed to throw out my old plain glasses case yet, or my old toothbrush.

I'm not sure if it's reasonable to be attached to my review notebook or not, but either way it probably doesn't help.

This post is partly a thank-you to my panda notebook for its 10 months of loyal service but also to welcome my new review notebook into the world!*

Lewis bought me it as a surprise last week and I love it. It's a Pride and Prejudice book-cover notebook - the only way it could be better is if there was a little panda waving at me on the inside!

*But not as a replacement. I didn't mean it like that, panda notebook! Nothing will ever replace you! *sobs*  **

** Only half joking. 

So now you've all seen my craziness... what do you use to record your bookish thoughts?

*waves goodbye to panda notebook*


  1. I use notebooks too.. expect I buy pretty notebooks and then decide they're way too busy to spoil with my notes, because once I fill it I won't be able to use it anymore! I have a Winnie the Pooh notebook from when we first moved into the flat and I'm still yet to use it. My notebooks absolutely have to be A5, book shaped and lined. So far I've filled one which Dan was given from his first work programme, and the one I use now which Dan had from.. unknown origin. So I understand your attachment issues entirely! I genuinely had a pen, just a regular old newsagents bought biro which I used and chewed during A-levels. I wouldn't let Dan use it incase he wasted the ink and I was actually a bit sad when it finally died. I've taken to keeping pens in every possible reading spot around the flat (and in my bags) now.. except the bathroom. I don't take notes in the bathroom..

    1. Ohhh pens. I hadn't even thought about pens, but you've got no idea how many I own that I have run out just because I can't bear to throw them away. I also have the fear of them doing just that, like you.

      And also with the not wanting to ruin notebooks! I was like that at first with my panda one, but it deteriorated... as you can see from the photos, haha. I actually have super neat handwriting normally, but I get carried away with The Emotion when I'm reading, clearly!

    2. Oh I'm exactly the same with handwriting. Sometimes I'll be reading lying down and something will come to me and.. well.. writing lying down!

  2. I love your panda notebook. LOVE it. I'd be sad to use it up, too, but I'm also loving our new one! I actually don't record my bookish thoughts. I store them in my mind and then write my review. I kind of like the idea of writing as you read, though. I might think of doing this...

    - Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl

  3. Ohhhhh, so THAT'S why your reviews are so awesome... Look at all the paragraphs! And the circles and lines and things stuck in neatly! *is so proud of Panda being used in this way, while also a tad envious* I keep meaning to start using a notebook (as I did on holiday, for review notes and observations and stuff I needed to remember when we got home) but at the moment my 'reading notes' are just a tatty piece of notepaper wedged in my book. I try to squeeze two lines of writing into each single-line space (makes it go further) and generally just note key observations, page numbers of stuff I might want to go back and refer to, and MORE page numbers for quotes. Then I go back over the whole lot later as part of the reviewing process...

    It kinda works - it's very quick while reading, for a start, so I don't keep having to extract myself from the book for several minutes at a time - but it makes the actual review/writing process AFTERWARDS longer because I don't have solid notes. I keep getting torn between my rather compulsive personality and the desire to be able to read my books without feeling like I'm in English class! *sighs and scrolls back up to look at the notebook again* Yeah, that's super-appealing. Like I want to read it even in note form. Might have to start notebooking it again...

    HOORAY for awesome Derbyshire Panda notebooks and happy sunny days - and also HOORAY for the gorgeous Penguin notebook, which we'd looked at stocking at one point and then never got around to it. They're so nice! :D

    1. P.S. I totally clicked on the photos and read the pages. THIS IS WHY MY REVIEWS DON'T COMPARE. Because I don't do that enough. *is a bit in love right now*

      P.P.S. Funky nail varnish! :)

    2. I don't know, I kind of like the idea of using a slip of paper inside the book. A) it doubles as a bookmark and b) it'd be really cool to randomly discover it the next time you read it. Or if you sold it at the shop, and somebody else found it. I'd LOVE to buy a second-hand book and find the previous owner's notes inside.

      Some pages are neater than that, for the record! But that book (Hope: A Tragedy) annoyed me so much that I had to get all my ranty thoughts out RIGHT THEN, hence the mess. I don't really feel like I'm in English class though - I swear too much in my notebook for that!

      They are really nice. It's a bit stiff at the minute, but I'm sure in a year's time it won't look anywhere near as new!

  4. This post has actually made me realise that I don't think I own any full notebooks! I pretty do the 'dedicating them a purpose' thing, write in it for a little while until I find another purpose/notebook that I like better and abandon the former - my current bookish notebook is lasting quite well but now I've seen this post I am DETERMINED that I will fill it with bookish scribbles and it will be as awesome as yours!! IT WILL!!

    I'm usually too obsessed with making my notebooks neat to actually use them properly, to be honest. Everybody always makes fun of me at work for writing up telephone notes into my counsel notebook thing - I scribble on scrap paper when I'm on the phone and then write it up later in my proper notebook when I'm done so that it's in nicer handwriting. Which actually looks kind of weird typed out! Hey ho!
    I need to stop doing that so that I can use a notebook properly with bullet points or something...

    And I am hopeless at throwing things away! I got my first iPod ('Pob the Pod') when I was in second year of uni (so like 7 years ago-ish) and then about 3 years ago, my gym bottle leaked onto it and it's still in the handbag that it died in because I can't BEAR the idea of putting it in a bin :( If Colin the eReader ever goes, I'll flipping well make a shrine for it to rest happily in forever more...

    1. I'm normally exactly the same - my Law notes are so perfectly aligned with perfect handwriting and perfectly straight lines and no scribbles. It's a running joke at BPP. People have photocopied notes for me before now and I've gone away and copied them out in my own handwriting. Yet somehow I can deal with it in my review notebook. It started out neatly though, so perhaps it was a gradual decline and I didn't realise until it was beyond redemption. Ah well, I like it though. The messier pages are usually the Strong Feelings ones, hence the messiness of Hope: A Tragedy in the photo.

      *cough* Your fault! *cough*

      That's so strange - my old iPod (sadly nameless) is still sat in an old handbag of mine and I've had an iPhone for thee years now so it's been at least that long. And yes, I'd probably be WORSE with my Kindle!

  5. Awww! I think it's sweet that the notebook had so many great memories for you! And I totally understand being amazed that you used the whole thing, because I also tend to buy notebooks for a specific purpose and then it just sits around for ages.

    Your new notebook looks lovely :-)

    I don't really keep a review notebook. I tend to write thoughts down in the book itself or on post-it notes in the book, and I try to write my reviews really soon after finishing a book while it's all still fresh in my mind. I have been using a notebook for blogging (and the occasional note on books I'm reading) and it's been really handy!

    1. Your way is so much more efficient though! I've used post-its before and it's really handy to just slap it on the back of the book when you're reading it, and use it as a bookmark when you're not. I usually stick them in my notebook after though, like in the picture. I like having them in one place :)

      I don't write in my books, but I love when I buy a secondhand book and it has someone else's notes in it. It's like a peek inside their head and it always makes me smile.

  6. I don't think I've ever finished a notebook. I have all good intentions and then I realised I haven't written in them for 6 months...or lost them. I love your panda though.

  7. Ah, this is such a lovely post! I too become very attached to my review notebooks, I have three full ones lined up on my bookshelf!

  8. I have finished one notebook ever in my life and it was the first one I had when I started the blog! It was not as cute as the panda though, I don't blame you for being sad it's gone! However, the new one is AWESOME and I kind of want one now... I have an unfortunate addiction to Moleskine notebooks, which are ridiculously expensive but I now cannot write in anything else :-/

  9. I LOVED THIS POST! I almost bought the same panda notebook when I went to visit Ellie, but couldn't justify it at the time with a brand new blogging notebook to fill up, but maybe next time. I have OCD myself and also find it really hard to part with things. I love your new notebook and I hope you build lots of happy bookish memories together. :)


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