|This leather-bound book of handmade paper that I bought in Italy |
would make a perfect commonplace book.
I am enchanted by images of leather-bound books crammed full of quotes and thoughts and remembrances all written in soft, sepia ink with a fountain pen. A secret place to keep lists, poems, and pithyisms. A book of pages brimming with photos and sketches and doodles; its edges overflowing with scraps of paper and ribbons and feathers.
In other words, a book full of life.
In earlier times scholars, authors, and thinkers kept what were known as commonplace books. Here is how Wikipedia explains them:
Such books were essentially scrapbooks filled with items of every kind: medical recipes, quotes, letters, poems, tables of weights and measures, proverbs, prayers, legal formulas. Commonplaces were used by readers, writers, students and scholars as an aid for remembering useful concepts or facts they had learned. Each commonplace book was unique to its creator's particular interests.
Such luminaries as Thomas Jefferson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, John Milton, and Virginia Woolf kept a commonplace book.
I come to this subject of commonplace books because of a post and attendant comments on mirabile dictu about the various types and styles of blogs. Let me say quite firmly: I do not like the word blog. When spoken, it sounds like a cross between the noises of burping and vomiting.
So I think of Belle, Book, and Candle as my commonplace book about books, reading, and related ideas that strike my fancy -- fountain pens, libraries, notebooks, journals, etc.
Now if I could just figure out a way to write my entries with a fountain pen filled with soft, sepia ink.