Old Journals


Do you miss your old journals? I miss mine at least when they are first retired. Flipping through lots of old entries with their colorful inks often inspires me to start a new page. New journals just seem empty and soulless for at least the first third or so. New covers do have the advantage though. Pristine, perfect, well, until they get smudged with tea, coffee, ink, or other evidence of use or sometimes even misuse.

Apica Journal

Apica Journal and Friends

For nearly three years my daily journal has been the Apica 6A10 and #5 will shortly join its predecessors on the shelf while #6 gets initiated. The paper is soft green-gray with pale gray lines. My fountain pens rarely fail to get along with the Apica paper so I am assured of a pleasant writing experience. Bleed-through and show-through are not an issue so I get 200 sides of lovely writing surface. The thin cover gives it a floppy, well-used feeling right from the start but even that improves with use.

Sometimes I want to dress up my Apica and take it out for a treat at the local coffee shop. On those occasions a Levenger Notabilia leather cover fits well enough to make it look upscale and professional.

Even so using that cover seems like a betrayal and attempt to prevent the very things that make my journal mine. It’s all those little smears and smudges, reminders of events that couldn’t be controlled or perhaps weren’t important enough to control. There are drops of Earl Grey tea inadvertently contributed by a friend. Then there was the day I spit coffee on my monitor, keyboard, and adjacent papers over a ROFLMAO joke. That joke may have faded from memory but the coffee stains certainly haven’t. Another time an ink spill revealed a delicate shade of pink that exactly matched the throat of the hummingbird outside my window. All were unique moments to be sure.

Long after I have forgotten these events though, my journal will remember. That is part of its purpose: to remember my life when I no longer can.



  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Margana, Margana. Margana said: New Inkophile post about "Old Journals" at http://wp.me/pfSKv-tm. […]


  2. I try to pick a different journal each time. I like the variety, but I also have gotten to learn (by trial and error) about papers and inks. I also use my journals rather differently over time.

    I do like to look back at my journals. It is interesting to see how my writing has gradually improved since university. It is also interesting to see what was important and noteworthy at that time. My interests, hobbies, routines have certainly changed. My journals also serve as records that I go back to for various reasons.


  3. I bought a notebook cover from Freakin’ Billboards to keep my Apica CD10’s in. I love the way any and all of my Fountain Pens glide across the paper…

    I don’t miss ’em much, I enjoy getting to know the new ones too much.


  4. […] of the generous Peggy Love (who also insured I have a lifetime supply of Apica Journals), I got my hands on a trio of Levenger True Writer Rollerballs with Fiber Tip refills. They […]


  5. Just discovered you site and am completely in love. Thank you for your beautiful penmanship and informative articles. I don’t know where else to ask you but I, along with being particular about my pens, am just as picky with my paper. Have you found a source that does justice to narrow ruled? This can bee loose leaf, spiral bound, sewn, or cloth bound. Thank you!


    • Hi Dani,

      Welcome to Inkophile!

      Fountain Pen Network is a good place to learn about paper. Some inks are more easily controlled on one paper than another and the nib width affects performance, too. Even the rate at which we write plays with ink flow resulting in either neat lines or messy puddles. No wonder we are picky!

      I am all for finding a combination that works and sticking with it. Narrow-ruled papers that suit fountain pens well can be found but it’s a trial and error thing. Rhodia is one of my favorites but check the rule dimension for each product. Some are more narrow than others. The new version of the Quo Vadis Habana Notebook might work well for you. Make sure you get the new version rather than the original version that had wider lines. I haven’t tried it yet but the review sounds very promising.

      Good hunting! With the abundance of fine paper products available, I’m sure you will find something very suitable for your needs.



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