Paper notebooks vs. electronic devices

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Paper notebooks and pens/pencils are and always will be superior to any kind of electronic device, however small and easy to use. It is time that especially many of the “greenies” took note of that.

There exists a total and utter misconception that paper books and paper notebooks are bad for the environment and the Planet and the talk is often about “dead trees” as regards to paper.

The greatest misconception as far as paper is concerned is that it is claimed that it leads to the deforestation of places such as the Amazon rainforest and others. Nothing could be further from the truth. The fact is that those hardwoods are totally unsuitable for the making of paper.

Also, it has to be said, tens of thousands of hectares of trees, of forests, would simply not exist were it not for the paper industry, as sustainable operations, as they predominately are, maintain forests for the purpose of producing timber for the production of wood pulp to make paper. The paper factories are, in fact, some of the largest private and corporate forest owners.

While it is true that some paper companies, such as Kimberly-Clark, for instance, engage in serious malpractice as to their operations the great majority have a different attitude and know that they must maintain the forests in order for their business to survive.

You don't have to feel guilty for using paper books and paper notebooks. Let's face it! They don't need batteries, they are not made from and with plastics and other toxic materials and, in the end you can return them to Nature by way of composting and compost. Not that you really would want to toss out your journals and notebooks of importance. They are too valuable for that mostly.

It is the reliability of paper notebooks and of pen/pencil that make them so much more of a green choice over any PDA or other such device. In addition to that your paper notebook can be run over by a Main Battle Tank of the Challenger or Abrahams kind and the data would still be unhurt and retrievable even though the spine of the book may be a mess. Have that happen with a PDS or Pocket PC and you can, generally, kiss your data good bye.

The choice of paper notebooks on the market – and you could even make your own if would would wish to do so – range from the very basic and cheap for a dollar to the elegant but more expensive ones such as the Black & Red notebooks at around seven to ten dollars to the Moleskine one at around fifteen dollars. In the same price category as the Moleskine notebooks we also find the German-made Leuchtturm1917 notebooks which, though similar to the Moleskine ones, have a couple of more extra features. Those are numbered pages throughout, eight removable pages in the back (in case you want to share some notes with others), blank table of contents in the front, and stickers for labeling and archiving.

Because of those extras, in my opinion, the Leuchtturm1917 notebooks are, probably, superior to the famous and fables Moleskine ones. In addition to those features the Leuchtturm1917 books also come in a large choice of colors and cover types.

As far as I am concerned, whether you buy your notebooks at whatever price range, or whether you decide to make your own notebooks, as I do a great deal, from “waste paper”, the paper notebook is indispensable and not just for writers and journalists. Paper notebooks can have so many uses.

While archiving your paper notebooks, it may be said, is more of an effort and takes more physical space than electronic archiving, I and you don't need a computer and power to read the material in the notebooks though.

On another level my paper notebooks work during a power outage, out in the middle of the forest, and all that, and that without the need for any power source. In addition to that they will last for years even if bashed about. Not something you could say for a Pocket PC, PDA or what-have-you.

Here enedeth the ode to the paper notebook. A little review of a Leuchtturm1917 A5 notebook is to follow soon.

© 2011