Tag Archives: Occasional Pieces

Commonplacing Considered


FOR THE PAST twenty years and more I’ve maintained a collection of quotations in black, made-in-Czechoslovakia, Pragotrade-branded volumes. This sort of collection is known as a “commonplace book,” and the keeping of one commonplacing. I take such care to mention the Pragotrade name because I purchased a number of these at Coles in the early 1980s and have been unable to find them for over two decades. Simple and unadorned, these dollar-something books could be had in your choice of blue, red, or black cover, the paper inside a serviceable unbleached pulp with the faint bluish lines you may recall from your grammar school “foolscap.” This was long before the market became flooded with overpriced and pretentious looking “journals,” designed to separate you from an inflated amount of your money with the implicit suggestion that nothing is too dear for your precious thoughts. I have always preferred, however, my cheap Pragotrade notebooks and the thoughts, only some cheap, of others.

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