Guest blogger Kate Marshall takes a trip down memory lane with a post on Mead’s iconic black-and-white composition books…
Regular readers may know that I’ve been journaling for a long time. I started out using Mead composition books and Parker Vector cartridge pens. After a few years I switched to all sorts of random books. A few weeks ago, though, I used a regular composition book for the first time in about 15 years. The paper was not that much fun to write on. Had it always been like this when I was an awkardly-dressed middle-schooler who clearly didn’t know better about paper quality? Or had copybook paper quality just deteriorated since the early ˜90s?
Well, I did some lazy experimenting and found: it’s a little of both. My current pens (quality stuff like Lamys and Pelikans) were not big fans of my 1993 and 1994 journals: feathering, bleeding, and the writing experience just felt scratchy. Then I found some Parker Vectors on eBay and tried them in a new copybook, along with the fancy-pants pens. Aaannd it was not great. It’s like writing on cheap copy paper: lots of show-through because the paper’s thin, some feathering, etc. It made me sad. When I was little, I never worried about how the ink interacted with the paper or the nib wasn’t playing nice with the ink. As much as I love using good tools now, I sometimes wonder if it’s possible to write twenty pages on a scratchy legal pad with a 99-cent ballpoint and not care.