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“ONE BOOK” – one of my favorite things

April 15, 2011
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I was recently asked to put together a compilation of my favorite things for a marketing piece.  I’ll share a copy of that post later.  I felt this ‘favorite thing’ deserved a post of it’s own.  As I was considering my favorite things, I looked at one of my favorite books, a journal really that goes everywhere with me.  It’s small and compact and easy for me to write in while walking but beyond that, it has a story and several ‘cool factors’.  Making it even more special to me, it was a gift from the artist/ designer/ craftsman who created it, Steven Kidwell.

4" X 5-7/8" black leather with an antique African Trade Bead at the bottom and the Venetian Glass beads at the top.

its in the details - Steve and I were together in Hong Kong and bought these glass beads - he stole them from my desk and the knot you see - in my signature color of course!

more of Steves handiwork

The following letter accompanied my gift and all of them he gave.  I love this!


a philosophy, Steven Kidwell

For years I would have multiple books for various purposes.  I had a small Journal, a personal sketchbook, a note taking book, and work sketchbook.  That’s a lot books, and I never seemed to have the right book with me for what I wanted to do.  Because of this fact, I rarely remembered to go back and “catch up” once I had access to the book I needed…ie. I didn’t write personal journal entries in my work sketchbook, so I almost never wrote about my wonderful trips because I left THAT book at home.  So, I decided to use ONE BOOK, for everything, and  I do mean everything- personal journaling, work notes, drawings, sketching, phone conversations, reminders, whatever.  Anything that would go on a post-it note or loose piece of paper, I would write in this book.  I found that I never lost phone numbers, reminder notes, important task notes, etc….it was all in my little book.

THIS little book, can be that for anyone.  It’s small enough to keep in your pocket, cool enough to want to carry around, and cheap enough to replace inserts often.

Not everyone sketches, journals, or writes down thought provoking quotes, but everyone has “Life notes”; grocery lists, appointment reminders, task lists, directions, phone numbers, shopping research, whatever…And, on occasion, an amazing idea may enter your brain, and you have the book to jot it down.  You have it, because all the tiny little nothing details that will never make it into your Blackberry or iPhone, are in your little book and are crucial to you living your life.  The book captures a time period in your life, it’s not something you write in once a month, it’s something you have with you and you USE for the stuff that doesn’t make sense to go digital on, and for the stuff you don’t want to go digital because you would like to read it again in 20 years.  Digital information gets purged, written over, or loss to a computer crash.  Your handwriting will endure the ages.  How many of your blog entries do you think your grandchildren will read?

Lastly, this leather gets more beautiful with age. I’m sick that I’ve just filled up my latest RA Sketchbook because know I don’t get to carry around my beautiful book anymore.  The leather on my sketchbook is worn, soiled with my sweat, scared with my drops, and now I have to start over again. The “One Book” is actually “One cover” with replaceable inserts.  The thing I like about the Cahiers is that they are, for all practical purposes, a stitched signature from a larger book.  So, when you use the “one book”, you’re actually writing a 1000 page book, 64 pages at a time.

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