The virgin page

Allan's JournalI want an Allan’s Journal. I want one so much!

An Allan’s journal is made by the same people who manufacture some of the finest English-langugage bibles in the world. These are people who seriously respect fine bookbinding.

Leather bound lined writing paper with edges that are not merely gold but red under gold, and with a ribbon marker, these journals are a worthy reflection of the eidos of books. They doubtless smell wonderful and cuddle in the hand rather than burden it. They come in dignified red, brown, or black, just like fine bibles should.

I hope you will get one for yourself or a friend.

All my life, starting from when I was ten, I have owned blank books. I have always wanted to write down my thoughts, note things that interest me, inscribe secrets, look back in time at what used to occupy my thoughts.

I’ve owned blank books in red faux leather stamped with gold or bound in houndstooth wool, in blazing white genuine leather (a gift, and Tiffany’s, no less– you can’t get them any more) and in humble padded pink pleather; I’ve owned a little black book of the sort that tomcatting men carry women’s phone numbers in, and many other books I’ve forgotten. I presently carry a tiny one in my purse, covered with an iridescent red and green Persian carpet design.

Every time I go to Barnes and Noble, I wander over to their display of blank books and think about buying one with a leather tie aound it. When the gift shop at work got a Moleskine display, I hovered over it for a good quarter of an hour, and keep going back to it every time I stop by. Blank books seduce my imagination with the possibilities their empty pages conjure up.

But, you see, it’s the blankness of the virgin pages that attracts me. It isn’t the actual scrawling out my thoughts. I have never used more than five or six pages in a blank book; and eventually I tear out the used pages and get rid of the book. I never find myself writing anything in them that is worth keeping, much less anything leather-bound and edged in gold over red. They are a perfect example of a nice thing that turns to junk in my hands.

With my current little purse book, I have already written four pages in it and torn them out. I carry the book because who knows, one day I might need to write down a perp’s license plate number. I can’t think of anything else I would want to write that I couldn’t do more easily on a computer. I need to give up the idea of owning a blank book more substantial than a 2″ x 3″ fatuity that I carry because it looks better than a book of Post-Its.

So no, I have no use for a marvelous journal that is lovely to look at, to smell, to hold, an object to stimulate the imagination, a keeper of memories and bearer of tasks for the future. But for you? Hey, these are seriously nice. Get one, please.


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