Paperophilia's Blog

Been a Long Time Gone

Posted in Books by paperophilia on April 11, 2011

So…..it’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything, like over a year. Guess I’m as bad at blogging as I am at keeping a journal. One excuse is that I’ve been busy with school–teaching and trying (mostly unsuccessfully) to finish my thesis. Another is that I’ve dropped off in my notebook consumption, though not my book consumption. I buy as many books as I ever did, and still have as little space for them. I’ve found some new fun things online (websites, blogs, and of course, paper paraphernalia) which I will post about soon, but for now I’ll just let you know what I’ve been reading. So, in no particular order, here are my latest reading adventures:

The Bone People-Keri Hulme

The Glass Castle-Jeannette Walls

The Book of Heroes-Miyuki Miyabe

The Orphan’s Tales: In the Night Garden-Catherynne M. Valente

The Orphan’s Tales: In the Cities of Coin and Spice-Catherynne M. Valente

A Room With a View-E.M. Forster

The Hunger Games Trilogy-Suzanne Collins

Incarceron and Sapphique-Catherine Fisher

Maus-Art Spiegelman

Watchment-Alan Moore

Persepolis-Marjane Satrapi

 

I’ve also been buying books in the steampunk genre, stockpiling, as it were, for after I graduate. Also on this list however is Koshun Takami’s novel, Battle Royale. Recently, we’ve burned through Full Metal Alchemist and Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood, both of which are amazing anime series.

So I’m back, and this is what I’ve been up to lately. Cheers!

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After a long hiatus…

Posted in Notebooks by paperophilia on February 2, 2010

Hello again,

I’ve been getting back into the swing of a new semester and have thus been a little busy lately. Things have calmed down a bit for the moment, so I thought I’d share some of my recent discoveries in paper and its relatives. I did some shopping after christmas and purchased a few new items that I’ve been very pleased with.

The first is the Moleskin Folio, pictured below. I purchased it from vickery.com for $24.95. I hold Moleskin to be one of the best notebook makers, like many other people, and have not been disappointed with the Folio sized notebook. I was however slightly disappointed with the website itself, the order processing time seemed long as did the shipping. The price on the Folio at vickery.com was better than some (certainly the official Moleskin website). I’m using it for a philosophy reading course and I think it will become a meaningful record of my engagement with phenomenology, one that I will keep for years to come. At 8.25 x 11.75 inches, it feels like a tome, but is still quite portable. I’ve found that people are intimidated by my notebook-it does look rather dense. In fact, I liked the Folio so well, I bought another one from a little stationary store I visited recently. Now I just have tofigure out what to do with it…

For writing in the Folio, I’ve been using a medium-nib Platinum Preppy Fountain Pen ordered from Jetpens.com. I’ve been pretty happy with the pen and the price is great at only $3.00 with $1.50 for

two refill cartridges. The only issue thus far is that it does not write as well if it’s been left sitting uncapped for a little while. I ordered both a black and blue-black inked pen and so far, I prefer the black ink. I also ordered the Sailor Recruit fine-nib fountain pen form Jetpens.com, which has been wonderful to write with and is aesthetically more pleasing than the Platinum Preppy. It continues to write well, even after it’s been sitting uncapped for awhile. However, I tend to prefer a thicker line and as this is my first fine-nib fountain pen, I may just need some time to get used to it. As far as websites go, Jetpens.com is a good one with fast shipping. I wanted to order refill cartridges at the same time I ordered the pens, but they were out of some, so I had to wait a bit. Otherwise, I think this is a good and reliable website.

I have long been enamored of the MUJI website, and I was finally able to order some notebooks and another fountain pen I’ve had my eye on. I got the set of 3 B5 ruled recycled notebooks for $2.95 and the set of 5 B5 ruled recycled notebooks with different color tape bindings for $3.95. These seem very similar to the famed Apica notebooks, but are much cheaper, and, in my opinion, have the same kind of quality. They are also plain so one could personalize them or just leave them plain and inconspicuous, as I prefer to do. The paper weight is good for fountain pen use, although the ink will smear easily if water gets on it (as I discovered one night in class as I was drinking tea and taking notes).

I also purchased the Alumi Fountain Pen from MUJI and have been happy with it. The pen is very light and comfortable to hold and the ink flow is smooth on most kinds of paper, and the price is good, as is true of most of their products. The grip is chiseled so that your fingers don’t slip when writing. My only complaint is that the MUJI online store did not have refill cartridges in stock, and still don’t. The shipping seemed to take a little longer than one might like (as far as processing and such), but I was also working with standard shipping.

Overall, I’ve been very happy with the purchases I made and would recommend these products to anyone, especially because the prices are manageable considering the good quality of the product.
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For a Friend….

Posted in Crafts, Nonesuch Miscellany by paperophilia on December 22, 2009

I recently asked a friend of mine to whom I had given one of my handmade journals to do a little writing about journaling and what it meant to him. He’s a burgeoning poet and a philosopher, so I though both the gift and the request for some writing were appropriate. Here’s some of what he had to say:

“[…] journaling can also be a useful skill and tool for a writer fleshing out ideas and brainstorming concepts.  It is here where I am most familiar with journaling and using notebooks.  I use the process of journaling as a way of discovering what I want to say about a subject and how I want to say it.  But it is important how one approaches writing in a journal.

To receive the full benefit of writing in a journal, all the rules of grammar, syntax, and propriety must be forgotten; there can only be your thoughts and what you are discovering right now.  There can be no reservations about writing anything.  Each idea and emotion and nuance must be explored to its ultimate depths and described detail by detail.  In the process of sitting down and intensely examining in such a way, I can work out exactly what I think about something and the points that I find most crucial for communicating the subject.  The journal acts as a silent sounding board for any and all ideas.  At a certain point, when I feel I’ve suddenly found what I needed from the free-writing, I go over what I’ve written and sort through the chaff, and there is always a lot, but in all that babbling I will find a few images or sentences that work perfectly.

My motivation for writing in a journal is to explore, to excavate an idea or an image that I need for a piece of writing, or to simply process and reflect on some personal thoughts.  A journal allows me to just write, not think, not edit, not analyze, just write.  That’s the process; I don’t have to go back over the writing and pick out the parts I need, but I do need to let go of the rules and just write.  One of the beauties of a journal is that it does not have to be read by anyone but yourself, so you don’t have to worry about anyone judging or criticizing you and the felicities of your prose or how weird you are or the person who you happen to be venting about at that page.  When the apprehension is gone, then the writing can begin.  However, sometimes sharing parts of a journal can be fun.

On a recent trip, my camera batteries quit a few days before the trip was through.  I suddenly changed the way I approach my journal.  What I wrote about, and how I wrote about it, became exponentially more important somehow; those writings would be the only documentation I would have for that part of the trip.  I started describing scenes in extra detail and with added passion.  When I returned home, I shared some of those stories and descriptions, and they were almost better than the pictures.  Because there was the tone and the energy in the words that reflected what had happened, the stories were poignant and fun and took me back to that night or that stream with a clarity that I otherwise would have forgotten.

Writing has the ability to stop time; that’s part of the beauty of writing in a journal.  The journal can reflect the writer’s own mind like a mirror; it can freeze the face of an idea, an image, an anger, and provide the opportunity to explore its anatomy down to the finest detail.  And that opportunity can be used in different ways.  It can allow for the deconstruction of an emotion, the escape of stressful day, a way to understand a poem, or simply to remember a story of something that happened on a camping trip.  A journal is a still-frame of whatever the writer wants to project at any given moment.”

I will let his words speak for themselves. Here are a few pictures of the journal I had made for him:

We are both readers, and philosophers, so on the signature covers I wrote some of my favorite quotes from various authors. At his request I used lined pages, something I myself cannot do without. Thanks Will for sharing your thoughts!!

Wordles….???

Posted in Nonesuch Miscellany by paperophilia on December 19, 2009

Wordle: Books Blog This is a Wordle, or word cloud as they call them, I created at their website. I was bored and it seemed fun. The editing controls are a bit limited but try it out. The words for this wordle came from ReadySteadBook.com‘s best books of 2008 symposium.

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Latest Creation

Posted in Crafts by paperophilia on December 19, 2009

I’ve been feeling the creative urge lately and watching a bunch of anime and reading Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami. This combined tonight when we sat down to our dinner of Korean style beef with rice, pickled vegetables, and wilted baby spinach. Here is the result:

Hopefully, this is better than what you were expecting. The cover is a spare of the placemats we used tonight for dinner. It seemed to have a slightly asian feel to it, and I thought it might make an interesting journal cover. I cut off the excess at the top with a pair of wire cutters and stitched a moleskin signature to the stitching already on the placemat. I added a ribbon closure with two asian-looking porcelain beads. The way the closure works, I’d have room to add a pen loop. It’s just a prototype, and I’ve already got some ideas for improvement, but at least I’ve satisfied this creative urge…

When I look at this, I imagine someone writing Haiku or Tanka style poetry in beautiful Japanese calligraphy.

Something fun for those of you who think wine and reading are a prefect match

Posted in Books, Nonesuch Miscellany by paperophilia on December 15, 2009

I subscribe to the New York Review Books newsletter and I recently received an email about a promotion they are doing for the holiday season. They have decided to do wine and book packages and have partnered with Le Du winery to create packages like this:

which includes:

One 3-liter box (equivalent to 4 bottles) Côtes du Rhône, Domaine du Garrigon 2008
With 3 books: The Authentic Bistros of Paris, The Brasseries of Paris, and The Best Wine Bars & Shops of Paris.

They have various packages available that range from $85.00 to $200.00, available here. It sounds like a great gift idea for this season!

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Book List For Winter Break 2009

Posted in Books by paperophilia on December 15, 2009

Here is my intended reading list for the winter break. Ambitious as always, but some of them I’ve already started. I’ll let you know how it goes….

Between the Acts-Virginia Woolf

Johnathan Strange and Mr. Norell-Suzanna Clarke

Sea of Poppies-Amitav Gosh

Mrs. Dalloway-Virginia Woolf

The Kindly Ones-Jonathan Littell

Pale Fire-Vladimir Nabokov

Crime and Punishment-Fyodor Dostoevsky

Frankenstein-Mary Shelly

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde-Robert Louis Stevenson

Christmas Wish List

Posted in Nonesuch Miscellany by paperophilia on December 15, 2009

Since it’s the week before Christmas, I thought it appropriate to share my paper filled wish list for 2009.

First up is The Red Book C.G. Jung, which I mentioned in a previous post. Next is the Moleskin A4 (12 x 8.5) ruled notebook, available here. I plan to use it for an independent study in philosophy. I think it will be a good place to record all my crazy thoughts and ideas, and plenty big enough as well.

I also need a new ipod since mine crashed. I’ve decided to get the classic, so I can fit my whole library on it. Besides, if I had the itouch, I’d probably spend way too much time playing with all the little apps.

Finally (for now), a wii. This is our first game consul (together anyway) and we thought it’d be good for our family. I’ve played on a wii before, but it will be fun to get some of the newer games. We have to of course start with MarioKart. I’m really excited about getting a wii. Hopefully it won’t suck up too much of my time…..

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Handmade and Re-bound

Posted in Crafts by paperophilia on December 14, 2009

One of my favorite hobbies is to make books, whether I start from scratch or simply cover notebooks I’ve already got with decorative paper and such. Here is a photo of some of the journals I’ve created recently. The two on the farthest left were created from scratch. the two on the bottom right started life as a file folder and ended up a sketch book and notebook, respectively. The two top right and center notebooks are re-covered comp books. The top left journal with the ribbon place markers was one of the first books I made myself.

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C.G. Jung’s Red Book

Posted in Books by paperophilia on December 14, 2009

I have had the fortune to see and hold in my hands a new publication: The Red Book of C.G. Jung. It is a large format, coffee-table type book of one of the 20th century’s most important psychologist/philosophers. Here are some pictures from amazon.com:

I have been drooling over this book since I first heard it was being published back in October. The Red Book resembles an illuminated text, like many early bibles and prayer books, or the Book of Kells. It is also a dream book. Here’s the caption from the amazon.com product description:

“[…]The most influential unpublished work in the history of psychology. When Carl Jung embarked on an extended self-exploration he called his “confrontation with the unconscious,” the heart of it was The Red Book, a large, illuminated volume he created between 1914 and 1930. Here he developed his principle theories—of the archetypes, the collective unconscious, and the process of individuation—that transformed psychotherapy from a practice concerned with treatment of the sick into a means for higher development of the personality.”

A friend of mine brought it to one of our classes one evening and let us all look through it. All that did was further my desire for this book. The price is a bit steep at $195.00 USD, but it’s on sale for half off on amazon right now. I cannot wait to get this and will post a full review when I do.