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In Praise of Blank Books

Their siren song calls to me – at times shiny and new on professionally-stocked bookstore shelves… maybe an unexpected treasure tucked in amongst the hodgepodge of inexpensive dollar store selections… or, perhaps, stacked with an ambitious array of department store back-to-school supplies.

Blank books.


Blank books are seductive. They tempt me with their oh-so-pretty covers, pristine pages, and clever embellishments such as pen loops or elastic closures. They tease me with unrealized potential: pithy words I might write, meaningful quotes I might collect, beautiful drawings I might create. They lure me in with the appeal of a fresh start, a new development, a goal to meet.


Blank books are filled with promise, invoking visions of a cosy café, a cup of good coffee, and time to write. They have a tactile appeal entirely different from a computer or the latest gadget, turning creating into a physical experience: ink flowing purposefully onto the page, or a picture emerging from deft pencil strokes.


No matter how plugged in or device-driven I may become, there will always be a special place in my world for blank books.


Are you a fan of blank books?
Please share!

P.S. – This post was featured on BlogHer!

NaBloPoMo January 2014

Ultimate Blog Challenge

Laurel Storey, CZT – Certified Zentangle Teacher. Writer, reader, tangler, iPhoneographer, cat herder, learner of French and Italian, crocheter, needle felter, on-and-off politics junkie, 80s music trivia freak, ongoing work in progress.

{ 26 comments… add one }
  • Kelly January 9, 2014

    I find blank journals appealing also and I have so many that I have to stop myself from buying another and another. What is that compulsion?

    I know that I journalled a 5 year plan and in doing so I arrived at a place in my life that is happy and peaceful. So maybe that is what is in those blank journals. An opportunity to craft a life beyond your wildest expectations!

  • Diane January 9, 2014

    Oh, yes. Total addict here. Although I’m patting myself on the back for resurrecting a half-used one for some poetry writing. It’s a lovely size for composing and hard cover to boot.

  • liz
    January 9, 2014

    Every so often I decide that I need a blank book for this reason or another. I just never seem to write in it. I swear the determination and ideas are there but putting pen to paper just never happens. I guess that’s why I blog..
    liz recently posted… Donate to your local Animal SheltersMy Profile

  • Karen Lynn January 9, 2014

    I confess (cough cough) my spending on blank books has killed a few trees. Can NOT resist. It’s best for me to stay away from stationary. 🙂
    Karen Lynn recently posted… Lifesaver II by Mio Portable Power Pack ReviewMy Profile

  • Anita-Clare Field January 9, 2014

    We call blank books, note books here and to say I have an obsession with them is an understatement. I love them. I have many and there is always room, for many more 🙂
    Anita-Clare Field recently posted… Rack Of Ribs With LOCF Barbecue SauceMy Profile

  • Lisa Flowers
    January 9, 2014

    Yes, I’m a blank book addict. But I don’t write in them. Or rather, for years, I didn’t write in them. (I didn’t want to spoil the pretty white pages or something weird like that.) I still have a beautiful one given to me in 1993!

    But I am starting to write in them now and carry one with me wherever I go.

    Nice article!
    Lisa Flowers recently posted… Pride and JoyMy Profile

  • Sonya Mann January 9, 2014

    I looove blank books, but I already have so many! I acquire them faster than I can fill them, and this is *after* having put a moratorium on buying them. Those unfilled pages are so fresh and full of promise. . .
    Sonya Mann recently posted… One WondersMy Profile

  • seabluelee January 9, 2014

    Blank books are an addiction against which I must struggle mightily. Your post did NOT help. I want that green one with the bird on it, please, NOW!!!
    seabluelee recently posted… Photo-Heart Connection: December 2013My Profile

  • Life Breath Present January 9, 2014

    Blank, new notebooks can certainly be a hole I dive into. I haven’t bought any in awhile (doing well with that), though your post has me pining for a new one now.

    I, too, have the “I don’t want to mark it up” problem a few others have mentioned. Right now, I actually have beautiful thank you cards I won’t open partly for this reason. Hmmmm…….
    Life Breath Present recently posted… The Dawn of Christmas – Book ReviewMy Profile

  • atthebottomtothetop January 9, 2014

    I love a blank book 😀 I only regret not starting writing sooner, but I simply didn’t have the “interest” as a kid–yet I’d always bought pens and notebooks in case. At least I can document my 20s and beyond. Some pages are so gorgeous it’s hard to get started. Those are some beautiful looking books there.
    atthebottomtothetop recently posted… Multitasking: All Its Cracked Up To Be?My Profile

  • marika January 10, 2014

    I have TONS of blank books, currently in use I have a 2 pink journals, both for Emily, one for characters – things I want to remember about them, pictures of them, the other is for ideas for Emily. I have another that is for just regular ideas, I have a weight loss journal, a TO DO journal, a craft journal, and then a score of blank books. The key for me is that all my favorite ones have GRAPH PAPER. I am way to picky about lines etc …
    marika recently posted… Marshmallow WorldMy Profile

  • Carol in Cairns January 10, 2014

    I have a basket of blank notebooks that looks exactly like yours. I think I will use this one for this, and that one for that ~ and it all becomes overwhelming. When I was a kid, paper to draw on or write on was a luxury in our house ~ it wasn’t freely available to waste ~ maybe that is the hesitation with such beautiful and well made notebooks that are everywhere now. And so cheap!

  • Olivia January 14, 2014

    My name is Olivia, and I am a blank book addict. Oh, gosh, I could spend a fortune and kill a few trees myself buying those things. And add to that my addiction for real, honest-to-goodness FOUNTAIN pens! I love to write with them. The ink seems to flow so much better from a fountain pen than a regular ball point or roller ball or gel pen.


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