The Notebook: A History of Thinking on Paper

Roland Allen. Profile Books. (416p) ISBN: 9781788169325

The Notebook: A History of Thinking on Paper
The Notebook: A History of Thinking on Paper
I love those feelings of serendipity that sometimes happen.

I had just added this book to my Wish List when Roland contacted me to see if I wanted to read a copy…

So I immediately took this off the list and waited with great anticipation for it to arrive.

As a lover of notebooks Roland wanted to find out the history of them, but found no easy answers and this is where this book was born from and what a fascinating book it was. A great social history but also a history of an emergent technology that supported the development of so many more technologies and breakthroughs.

We follow the different aspect of the notebook throughout history, from the start of double entry bookkeeping in Florence all the way up to the development of patient diaries with a lot in-between.

Roly explores the advantage of a portable paper product over that of the the other mediums of written information, such as papyrus and vellum, including cost and availability.

We are also taken on a tour of notebooks belonging to people such as Darwin, Newton, Bob Graham, etc and how the small portability of these were perfect or anything that could be imagined.

Bullet journalling, sketch books, common-place books, artists aides, and my absolute favourite, zibaldoni, a place to put all your thoughts, important excerpts from others, and pretty much anything that came to mind (how I use my notebooks), we have an exploration of the various forms that have come to mind to use notebooks/paper/writing utensil.

I’ve been absolutely engrossed in this book from start to finish, both with the insights and writing. A must have for all fellow lovers of notebooks and those who love a great social history.

Bottom Ko-Fi

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.