Take Note

Putting pen to pixel

Those who do not read for pleasure do not understand. I’ll even allow that those who read on a screen or tablet understand more than those who take no pleasure in the written word at all. These digital readers, at least, most likely migrated from the printed page. They can recall the feeling of paper in their hands, the rough cut of a cheap paperback, the smoother grain and heavier weight of a new hardback.

And so it goes with notebooks. The migration from paper to screen is upon us, and it’s conceivable that we may soon witness the death of these old standbys, which will be no bad thing for trees but very sad for anyone who relishes the tactile diversity of different stock.

As a newspaper reporter and magazine writer, I’ve been scribbling in notebooks for over twenty years. But my obsession began long before my professional life. In school, I relished a new exercise book, anxious that my first mark on...