Notebooks play a massive role in my life, as I’m sure they do a lot of writers. All those crisp, tantalising pages. All the ideas and inspiration gathered under one perfectly-bound foiled and embossed roof. The smell of a new notebook can be heady to a writer, like the first hit of nicotine in on a winter’s day (OK, I’m exaggerating, but it’s still pretty awesome). I love the soft creak as I open a new notebook. A used notebook is like a box of dreams–it’s a personal artefact, but also something you wish to share. I am a particular fan of a couple of notebook manufacturers and generally go for their books before anything else. These are my recommendations.

Paperblanks – Their journals are exquisite. They are available lined or blank. The paper is a soft cream-colour and coated so you don’t get ink bleed (if ink is your thing; it’s not mine, but each to their own). The foil covers are vibrant and tactile. Some of the books have small ornate clasps, some have a magnetic flap, while others have no clasp at all. Their range is huge and I’m convinced that any notebook user would find something to adore in the Paperblanks collection. I own far too many of these and yet I always seem to need more (I fill them quickly with story notes, plot ideas and character sketches!). Don’t believe me? Here are mine:

I’m currently waiting for the Grolier Ornamental Ultra notebook to arrive from Amazon.

Flame Tree – The Flame Tree books are a similar to Paperblanks in their tendency to use embossed, foiled covers, though the books themselves are a little thinner than the Paperblanks Ultra, and the pages are not as thick and luxurious. The quality is still high and they are extremely pretty journals. I own 4 of these and I’m looking to get a couple more soon.

Peter Pauper Press – Again, similar in style to the others, with some lovely cover designs. These are a good back-up journal. I really want one of their Timeless Tree journals. That cover!

On a related note, Paperblanks once interviewed me for their blog. You can read the interview here: In which I ramble about notebooks, creativity and inspiration.