A love letter to Rhodia notepads

I worked at Borders before they went out of business. A few years later, I worked at Barnes & Noble for a while. One of the noticeable differences between them for me was the quality of the notebooks section.

Barnes and Noble has a very consistent collection of quality notebooks at a great range. Within a bit of wiggle room, you can generally go into a Barnes and Noble and find the notebook you're looking for, if you know it's one that Barnes and Noble carries.

Borders had a somewhat more chaotic notebooks and stationary section. It often had an assortment of unexpected or unusual things -- things that felt rare. They may not have been, but finding something cool in that section felt like a treasure. Especially since the more obscure products were rarely re-stocked.

The Rhodia notepad was one of those things. A yellow lined one. It was discounted -- it wasn't too expensive, but I would never have been able to bring myself to pay full price for it. Paying more than five dollars for a notepad felt ridiculous, plus I was broke, and I used to have a lot of anxiety about taking risks on spending money for things I might turn out to not like.

It was amazing. The paper was smooth and sturdy, it took ink and pencil lead exceptionally well, and the perforations were better than any I'd ever seen before. They're really, genuinely reliable. I have a real problem with accidentally tearing sheets of paper in half trying to remove them from notepads. I never had that problem with that notebook.

I don't use up whole notebooks often, but I used up that one. Then, it was gone: I didn't really do online shopping then, at the time I probably didn't even have a debit card. And I didn't have free money. I would have switched over completely to Rhodia notebooks, but it wasn't within my power to do so.

Lately, I've been listening to the podcast The Pen Addict. They talk about paper a lot, and they mentioned Rhodia notebooks in a few episodes. And I immediately went to Amazon and bought one.

I got a plain white notepad, and it has been pretty close to the only paper I've been using since. I've been finding excuses to write stuff so I can use it. It's fantastic.

I downloaded and printed some line and grid guide sheets from The Well-Appointed Desk -- you can put them under the top sheet of a blank notebook and the lines show through -- and those worked out so well that I decided to make my own, structured around my note-taking style. I'll blog about those tomorrow.

(Disclosure: Product links are Amazon Affiliate Links.)

Bad money habits

 I left my list of fake words at home, So I'm afraid you'll all have to wait to find out my very clever definition of the word "Finoil." 

It's been a strange, and emotionally exhausting, couple days, and right now I'm realizing that I'm dealing with a self-destructive reaction in the form of online shopping.

I've bought a lot of stuff online lately, of a wide variety of justifiably. The shower bag for Hampshire? Definitely justified. The Lamy Safari I received yesterday? Not so much, but I'm really happy with it. The second Lamy Safari, this one in red, that I put in my wishlist today, so I can have a red one and a black one for note taking? Definitely not.

I'm attempting to hit the breaks there, and I haven't ordered the second pen. But it took a great force of will not to instead buy the cart full of stuff I want for Hampshire that I'm saving for later this month when I have money.

Fortunately, I've got one more meeting with my therapist before I leave for Hampshire. Unfortunately, it's still over two weeks away. I may have to do some of the working through this on my own.

Possibly in writing, with my new pen, in my favorite notebook, which I also have a post to write about.