Notebooks to write home about

Beyoncé notebook by misspippadesigns at Etsy Not my circus , not my monkeys notebook by elsieandnell at Etsy.

Beyoncé notebook by misspippadesigns at Etsy

Not my circus , not my monkeys notebook by elsieandnell at Etsy.

I'm ever so slightly addicted to notebooks. Good old-fashioned paper notebooks. It probably started with Summer holidays to France and the most incredible selection of notebooks and diaries available in French hypermarkets. The paper would often be made up of little squares which I thought was quirky and strange. I loved having my own unique notebook to christen with my fountain pen on the first day back at school for Autumn term.

A few years ago I discovered Smythson notebooks (pictured below). The delicate soft leather handbag size book complete with a fun slogan on the cover. My first was titled 'Places of Interest' and the wafer thin blue pages were divided into categories such as restaurants, museums and hotels. I bought it as a gift to myself and watched it being perfectly wrapped in light tissue paper before nestling in to its blue box. A bright pink Smythson notebook titled 'Wedding Planner' took me from the days straight after my engagement (when I was already listing potential wedding venues), through to the thank you card list for wedding gifts. The ten months of planning for our big day was all jotted down in this special book. More recently there has been a new addition to my collection, a soft cream notebook with gold lettering titled 'Baby notes'.  It was given to me as a birthday gift a few months into my pregnancy and has rarely left my bedside table and is crammed full of what our little girl is doing week by week.  

Etsy is my go-to for fun and lovingly crafted notebooks, whether it is slogans or interesting designs that catch my eye. In this age of smartphones, putting pen to paper may be a thing of the past for some, but for me it still feels like something special and I think notebooks make a perfect gift.

Cooking Secrets by Arminho at Etsy 

Cooking Secrets by Arminho at Etsy 

Fox notebook in pink by SketchInc at Etsy Purple notebook by Moleskine

Fox notebook in pink by SketchInc at Etsy

Purple notebook by Moleskine

Taking a look back - Making The Guardian Eyewitness centre page feature

Playing dress-up and pumpkin cooking