Commonplace Notebooks

Along with being a lover of books, I am a big fan of stationery. I still take notes in notebooks, still write thoughts down, make lists, and write letters. To me, writing is committing to memory, and the physical act of writing is important to me. Plus, I have noticed, people love receiving real letters.

There are many notebook brands I love. But my most interesting possession is my ‘Commonplace Notebook.’ A Scottish brand Waverley, make these wrapped with Kinloch Anderson tartan. Of course, it doesn’t get more Scottish than this. The one I own is the Mackay Ancient tartan, and I do love it because it is similar to the tartan I identify with.

Commonplacing was most popular amongst thinkers of the 17th and 18th centuries. These notebooks were used to jot down thoughts and ideas. The flap at the back was used for storing scraps. Greats who were known to Commonplace were David Hume, Adam Smith, Rabbie Burns and Virginia Woolf.

I use this notebook for the work I do with another wonderful Scottish organisation – Scottish Book Trust. All my meeting notes and reflections go in here. And the size of it means that it fits into a small purse or a large pocket, which is great. I do love this notebook, and must think of buying a larger one.

Do you have a notebook favourite?

Teaser Tuesday (March 25)

My teaser:

“Her transformation from oranges and browns to a pristine white is epic. And the wind, always the wind… like a veil over the city, the wind is her handmaid.

From here, my piece for the launch of Scottish Book Trust‘s ‘Scotland’s Stories Of Home‘ series.


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


The Coral Island: A Tale of the Pacific Ocean …a review

This is a children’s book. Much like Treasure Island, but far less known. Mum happened to see it together with the latter and picked it up for my tenth birthday. It is written by Scottish author R. M. Ballantyne, who I don’t know has written what else. But I read this book before I read Treasure Island, and I remember that I loved it. Three boys are marooned on an island in the South Pacific when they are in a shipwreck.

The novel goes on to narrate from a first person narrative, the author is the cheeky Ralph Rover, the story of how they manage to survive a long time. They eat all sorts of things, build a house, swim in the sea, and encounter savage tribes. But the style of writing is very simple, the jokes and humour is very very pre-teen, and it is a lovely read overall. To be honest,  Treasure Island is a dark book. It brings children face-to-face with deceit, trickery, mutiny, and violence. This book has none of that but is equally adventurous. Apparently, as per Wiki, it was the inspiration for William Golding’s dystopian Lord of the Flies (1954). I had no idea!

I recommend it as a read for those with kids. Read it to your child when he/she is maybe seven, it will make many a day exciting!

I smell Adventure!

Quote: “When we awoke on the following morning we found that the sun was already a good way above the horizon, so I came to the conclusion that a heavy supper is not conducive to early rising.  Never-the-less, we felt remarkably strong and well, and much disposed to have our breakfast.  First, however, we had our customary morning bathe, which refreshed us greatly.”