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Jeruba's avatar

Blank books: have you ever actually written in one?

Asked by Jeruba (41907 points ) December 2nd, 2012

They’re so appealing, at least conceptually, with their handsome covers and nice binding and all those inviting blank pages. And people seem to like to give them as gifts, I assume when they’re absolutely at a loss for another idea.

Who actually writes anything in them? Do you?

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15 Answers

Unbroken's avatar

I have written much prose to the blank page.

I liken it to that of a baby, empty of experience, innocent fresh. Is each mark a scar?

Or an ornate thing of beauty and joy?

I think it is both.

An empty book symbolizes fresh starts, hope, dreams unrealized or unformed.

I think there is tredipation as well as the dedication of time to developing and crafting one. Much like raising a child, except in this case we have choice of keeping it blank and not being blamed for abuse.

I think most often is both a joy and a burden.

But I have never been given or bought one. So I have no idea whether I would write in one

Symbeline's avatar

I got tons of em, both just white pages and others with lines. I like collecting them. I have some with hard, rock like covers that have dragons/some skeleton guy/rose with a sword ’‘carved’’ on to them, and much simpler ones. I have two hard covers with like 300 pages. (more actual sketch book than the basic blank book) Have a few with soft covers and funky drawings on them.
To answer the question, no, I don’t write or draw in all of them, mainly because I have too many. But I use some of them, and I figure, when I’m out of pages, I’ll move on to another. (usually can’t resist adding a few things in the first pages though, when I get new ones, so they all have a little something)
The one I’m using now is almost 10 years old, (lined pages) if not that, and almost filled up. Only a few pages left. I do use another with blank pages for drawing and doodling. For sure, I’ll probably never go through all the ones I have, especially not if I get more, which I probably will…but yes, I do use them, or some, anyway.
The one I have now is sort of like a diary. Lists go in there, dumb poems/freestyle I write, doodling when I get bored. The more serious drawings go in blank paged ones, (one of the big black hard cover with 300 pages) or I just use individual sheets.
I write notes about video games I’m playing, random nonsense, how I feel or what went on, battle plans, movie quotes, stuff I want to remember, anything goes. When I first got the one I’m using now, I was in an art program for six months where we had to develop some big project. The group decided on a play, so there’s a whole bunch of notes about that in there, in the earlier pages.
Plus I like drawing pictures of myself, but I replace my arms with plungers.

kitszu's avatar

There is nothing like a blank “journal” for a writter. It is as intimidating as much as it is enticing.

Too much blank space, too many empty pages, so that you can’t help but feel an obligation to fill them.

Yet, it is like a brand new canvase to an artist. A chance to create something new, a chance to recreate something old.

ucme's avatar

The wife’s successful cooking recipes.
Mother Theresa’s sexual exploits.

nebule's avatar

I don’t get them as gifts very often but when I do I love it. I’ve have written a diary since I was 11 and although my diary writing has slowed in recent years, I know that it is one of the best forms of connecting with myself – for me anyway. In fact this question reminded me how much I miss talking to myself. There is a lovely book by Christina Baldwin called Life’s Companion which I will be picking up again shortly, It’s an exploration of how writing can be healing.

Unfortunately though when other’s buy me diaries they often don’t understand what I like in terms of page size, quality of paper, the way the book opens and falls on the desk, with what ease it allows you to write..so some of these blank pages are still blank but I’ve often used them as Gratitude Journals or for Poetry, where the act of writing isn’t so central to the outcome.

Thank you for asking the question xx

SuperMouse's avatar

I have bought and received several beautifully bound and decorated books full of blank pages over the years. Usually they end up with the same first paragraph of the same Great American Novel scrawled on the first page with the rest of the book remaining woefully blank. There are a couple that I received at particularly angsty times so the first ten or so pages are filled with my lamentations. Again, the rest of the pages remain woefully blank.

The most success I ever had with a blank book was with a Moleskine I received as a gift when my older boys were toddlers. I used that one to write down cute things they did or said, for prompting them to tell a story by saying “How does your story start”, and for writing down important information. That one is completely full of stories, notes, birthday lists, etc. and I love looking through it with the boys.

augustlan's avatar

I used them quite a bit when I was pregnant with each of my children and in the first few years after each of them were born. One book per child. I basically wrote to them about what was going on in the pregnancy, how excited we were, how they got their names, and what was new in their little lives while they were babies. They are my version of the baby book most people have.

My poor youngest child…by the time she was born, my third baby in four years, I didn’t have much time and energy to write in hers. Her book is by far the shortest!

Beyond that, no. I have several really nice blank books in a desk drawer, all of them completely unused. Such a shame, because I really do like them!

zensky's avatar

Yes – I have a few. Some were indeed gifts – meant to be used (as they have been) as diaries.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I use some as jouranls, some to learn a new language, some for favorite quotes, etc…it’s fun.

wundayatta's avatar

I don’t write by hand. My thoughts go too fast to be caught by handwriting, and my hand cramps up really fast. A blank computer screen is sufficient for me.

Also, I write in response to people. I write letters. I write answers. I rarely write things to no one. Maybe never, these days, since questioners are all over the place. Unless I have a person in mind, I cannot write. I cannot write to myself. Maybe that’s because I’m utterly uninterested in anything I have to say.

This is confusing to me, because since I am uninterested in my writing, I have a hard time imagining anyone else being interested in it. Yet, they are. I guess it’s different for other people, who have no idea what I’m going to say, or where my mind will go.

I know where my mind is going to go in a way. But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I do read what I have to say when I write it. It’s just that I never want to read anything twice. I don’t read anything twice, no matter who writes it. So I guess I am interested in what I have to say. I just am not interested a second time.

But a blank book would be totally frustrating because I could not capture my thoughts. My hand is too slow. So I would probably throw the book out the window, or rip it to shreds out of frustration. Does anyone else ever feel that way about hand writing?

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

I created a book of special dates. I set up a few of pages for each month of the year and then put the days of the applicable month down the left column, leaving a few lines of space between each day. Then, I recorded all the significant dates for people who are important to me. Thanks to this book, I never forget anyone’s birthday or anniversary.

I have another book that I use to record my exercise regiment—which days, what types of activity, and for how long. It’s very rewarding and inspiring to look back and see what I actually did in any given week.

Beyond that, no, I’ve never thought of any good uses for blank books. They just sit there looking pretty (or get re-gifted to someone who’ll find them equally useless).

Celtic_One's avatar

Yes I use blank books on a daily basis as my personal planner which I made out of a pocket Moleskin Notebook. The left side has a week of dates at a time and the right side is what I use to write down the things that I need to do in the given week. After trying to find the perfect planner I gave up and decided to make my own which I do each year as I find out that it works out much better than any other solution as it is exactly what I need and only what I need, in a convent size that I can always have with me in my pocket.

tranquilsea's avatar

I write in them and I draw in them.

hearkat's avatar

I used them for journals in the past. Now I journal on the computer… I never had good handwriting or was much for drawing, so there’s no biomechanical pleasure in it for me.

lightsourcetrickster's avatar

I have a couple of hardback journals, very decorative, but they look really nice and it’s kind of difficult to write in it when you don’t want to write any old junk in it – because if they look nice on the outside, why would you want to write any old crap inside?
There is one I do have from Firenze, Italy, which is also really good quality. Leather casing, with a kind of gold/creamy colored covering, which does look great, but I actually do write in that one. With my quill or a calligraphy pen. I do write a journal in it, but I don’t want to use just any old pen in it. I guess the way I choose to write in something or on something depends on what it looks like. I’d use a ballpoint pen for writing on A4 or a fountain pen on plain letter writing paper, I’d probably use the same for a journal that was no frills on the outside.

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