The GARN on top of 11-year-old Mac keyboard that's still a pleasure to type on. (Yes, that's Captain Haddock on the right)
Or in my case, notes—lots of them.
This is because I recently bought three black Green Apple Reporter Notebooks from a National Bookstore branch in Pasay City. (That, and another book, Augusten Burroughs’ Magical Thinking for P50, which I promise would be my last book buy for the year. But that’s another story.) [See: Magical Thinking]
It takes me three months to use up a GARN, which means I’m not going to have a shortage for the next three years.
This is because on top of the new three GARNs that I bought, I have eight in storage, bringing the total to 13, one of which I’ve used up—and also in storage—and another one which I’m using now.
I absolutely adore these notebooks (enough to blog about them) more than I do the soft-bound Moleskines I got abroad, some of which I had already given away. The softbound Moleskines also fell apart easily, which is unjustifiable considering its price.*
That’s not the case with the GARN.
It’s tough, durable, low-key, substantially cheaper than the Moleskine, and thanks to its color, unmistakably masculine.
I admit that I ignored the GARN the first time I saw it.
At that time, I was in my DIY notebook phase, a preoccupation that was short-lived because it was foolish, expensive, and time-consuming—just like hanging out with frenemies.
That phase ended when a new fountain pen came along, prompting me to get something decent to write on. [See: Lamy 2000]
The GARN was the natural choice.
In no time, I became addicted and bought them whenever I saw them.
Like the fountain pen, I bring the GARN everywhere.
Except that I am unable to maximize its availability.
People look at you strange if you write in a notebook. But not if you type on a laptop or a tablet.
If you’re seen clutching a notebook and a pen—two pieces of antiquated equipment—you’re considered a throwback of the 19th century, a fop, a dandy, a pretentious, artsy-fartsy pseudo-writer-slash-artist.
Fortunately, I’ve come to terms with my literary pretension and, as a result, have managed to get away with writing on the GARN some of the time.
On various occasions, I’ve written extensively in two different mid-end, mall-based Chinese restaurants, one of which had the temerity to charge me for house tea. (Which, come to think of it, I should have agreed to pay for since I’ve spent time writing there.)
I’ve even checked into a cheap hotel overnight, just to get a change of scenery.
Except that cable television got the better of me and all I could wrangle out of that episode was a page that was arguably worthless. That overnight stay also helped increase my debt whose interest could have paid for someone else’s country club membership.
So, kids, what kind of lesson can we derive from my notebook addiction?
Simple: I may go hungry, incur investment losses, seek bankruptcy protection, live on the streets, and eat off a garbage dump but as far as writing supplies are concerned, I’m A-OK.
*I do have another Moleskine in storage—a hardbound Berlin City Notebook edition given by a journalism instructor who’s been there countless times as a birthday gift. I promise to use it once I get to visit that city.