But what’s important in choosing a journal? A huge component is to physically get off the couch, go to a bookstore, and choose one. Don’t do it online. All a website can give you is a photo of said journal. In a bookstore, you can pick it up and open it. You can feel the texture of the paper. I’m rather picky about the paper in my journal. I like lines, because otherwise my writing goes all over the place. And I prefer a matte finish to the paper. In fact, the closer to a natural paper texture, the more I like it. I love pens with big, chunky tips (0.7 mm or larger), and a soft matte paper allows the ink to settle on the page without smearing the instant the book closes.
I would never dream of picking the first blank book I saw. I always ask myself, “do I like this book? Do I want to hold it and manipulate it?” If I don’t like the feel of it, or if the answer to those questions is no, then that book goes right back on the shelf. Interestingly enough, the journals I’m currently using are actually refills. They have a simple cardboard cover, and they are only a few dollars to replace when I fill one up, but I love the paper in them!! I have lofty ideas of finding an expensive leather cover or beautiful artistic sleeve for it, but for now, I’m perfectly happy with my plain brown book.
Summer Jayne is an author and avid journal writer in the Boston area. When the economic crisis of 2008 hit, she was unemployed for nearly two years. She turned to writing to combat the unending boredom from being home-bound, ultimately creating the novel Lioness (April 2009) available on Amazon. She works as a chemist by day for a local medical device company while pursuing her second novel in her spare time. She currently resides with three roommates, three cats, and a pile of student loans.