It frightens me a bit to think I've scrupulously documented the last eight years of my life. I kept journals on and off before college, but it wasn't until freshman year that I devoted myself to it. For a while I had rules, like I would write back-to-front (maybe that came from scribbling in the back of my school notebooks) and I would only write in a standard 3-5 subject—something, I like to tell people, that I can spill coffee on. Also, I only date the entries that begin and end a book. I do appreciate journals, and if you gave me one as a gift, I did use it! They came in handy when doing interviews and sketching-out pieces. It was just this year that I switched to the Moleskine. As you can see, I would run out of space. The only other tradition I uphold is to start a new journal on the first of the year, no matter where I am in a book. I still write every day, sometimes multiple entries. There's rarely a weekend morning not spent with coffee and NPR, recounting the previous night's events and more. Unfortunately, outside of my couch I don't have designated writing spots like I did in Minneapolis—of which there were several. If possible, I like to keep one book throughout the year. Like this one.
This is my 2001 notebook, which is my absolute favorite, not only because it contains notes from my first Seattle trip and other things I won't mention. Its covers are a thick, durable cardboard stock. I was literally heartbroken when 2002 rolled around and I couldn't find the same book. Still occasionally looked for one after that.
The back page is a rough draft of a review of Michael Jackson's Invincible, for the Minnesota Daily, in case you can read what appears to be dirty fiction. The right side contains memorable quotes from friends, something I don't do so often anymore. All my books are capsules, containing fliers and stickers and whatnot (much like the books in my library). It's nice when they have pockets. A new tradition of mine is to keep a book of stamps and postcards in the back pocket of a Moleskine. It's the original text message.