Hey Michael, remember when you interviewed that guy who made those jeans you really liked, and he basically said people like you are a bunch of internet nancys? Basically said “I don’t get people who just post pictures on the internet.” Dissed you right in your interview? That shit was hilarious.
Have fun being a 30 year old Urban Outfitters shopper.
This whole notebook debate has been amusing to say the least, but I think it raises some key questions on “value” and how it’s perceived. A Smythson notebook may be worth every penny put into its top-quality production, but it’s still just a notebook. Granted, Churchill used these bad boys (as does the Queen currently I presume), which can only add to the mystique of the Smythson pedigree as best on the planet (and that is certainly worth something). But generally, this sentiment is eschewed by this whole Americana fascination, owing to the functional and utilitarian roots of all things U.S. that we admire. As a result, a $100 notebook seems patently ridiculous when the $1 notebook would suffice. But just the same, the $1 notebook seems insignificant against a product that meets the standards of a cigar-chomping heroic badass. So which to value more? That’s a tough question.
I’m with the $1 notebook, mainly because it’s free from any legacy or “heritage”, though I can still appreciate the storied quality of a Smythson (the ideal would be to find a lightly used Smythson at the flea, but that’s stating the obvious).
Michael you’ve got a great point-counterpoint: old world and proper British notebook excellence (at $100) paired with a delightful American smackdown for $1. Best of both worlds in my book.
The thing about a notebook, (maybe also like good jeans), is the point is to use the hell out of it and really mess it up. If you had a single beautiful irreplacable vintage notebook (even bought so reasonably at one dollar), but only one of them, would you be hesitant to fill it up? Because then what? Or to put your notes and sketches on that fifty year old paper? The dream would be to find 100 of those things and then go through them; I think the appeal of the smythson is that, at a price, they never run out and they always stay the same…
Inspiring blog, thanks.
I wonder… do you actually write in these notebooks? If so, what do you write other than a list of notebooks you plan on buying? A notebook’s aesthetics are irrelevant; it’s the content of the pages that truly matter.
Geez…what can I add to this craziness? Nothing much, but I have to say something. At Smythson, Barbour, Savile Row, etc, people try to keep alive high standards of quality and workmanship. If people with means (or without but buy the stuff anyway) don’t buy the goods, that quality and the jobs that go with the products will disappear. All you nattering nabobs of negativism would be griping that people should have bought the stuff. You would lament another lost trade, company, skill, way of life, etc. Let people buy what is good and attempt to keep a traditional skill in business or it will be one more loss to China, Vietnam, etc.