The little black book has had a ubiquitous presence throughout history: from German composer and pianist Ludwig Van Beethoven who was seldom seen without a notebook in his hand or pocket – composing the beginning of symphonies in them page after page, to American author and journalist Ernest Hemingway who once said: “I belong to this notebook and this pencil”. Albert Einstein, Ronald Reagan, Leonardo Di Vinci and Picasso were all also passionate devotees of the little black book, along with modern day figures Larry Clark, George Lucas and Hugh Hefner (the latter of whose 1950s book recently went on display at the Chicago History Museum).
This week’s most Loved product on AnOther Loves chosen by Adam Christopher, gives an intriguing spin on the traditional little black book. The handbound original Rude Little Black Book offers “a useful, non-violent alternative to mayhem,” claim its producers. Covered in soft, black buckram it is hot stamped with the gold lettering: “People I Want To Punch in the Face” and is comically intended for users to jot down the people they dislike. Drawing comparisons to the infamous “Burn Book” used in American teen comedy Mean Girls, in which the characters jotted down mean things about all the girls in their school year, this Rude Little Black Book offers a mature and more sophisticated version to silence thoughts which are needless to say.
Here we speak to Christopher about who he would put in his Rude Little Black Book, what notebook her carries and whether you can judge someone by their notebook...
What made you choose to Love this Rude Little Black Book?
I simply saw it as a cleaner and chicer version of a "Burn Book". Not that I'm going around noting every last person that I'd actually like to punch in the face since as a writer and and an overall pacifist I find the pen to ultimately be mightier than the sword. So this notebook represents a way to jot down daily frustrations and annoyances.
Who would you put in your book if you owned one?
That's a tricky one. Im not one to name names, but I will say there are a few politicians, celebrity fashion designers, reality TV stars, and a slew of self proclaimed style gurus that I wouldn't mind jotting down in a Rude Little Black Book.
What kind of notebook do you carry?
I tend to keep a lot of my notes in a digital form as it's much more convenient, but occasionally I do carry a small Smythson notebook on me. The cover says "Dreams and Thoughts." I like that as it’s a much more optimistic and positive when jotting down my thoughts or poems.
What do you note in it?
Poetry, thoughts, ideas, quotes and even from time to time sketches as they come to me.
Do you use any particular writing pens or pencils?
I'm definitely particular about pens and the way each tip effects the form and shape of my writing. You get a different feel and font from a ball point than you might from a small point pen. This all just stems from growing up writing graff and the practice you would spend on creating the style flow and form of your letters and name within your black book. So over the years it’s a very mental thing on the style of the letters and words as I write and I tend to favor a ball point pen on paper the most.
Are you left-handed or right handed?
I'm ambidextrous but the right side is much stronger due to injuries.
Notebook vs iPhone Notes?
Although iPhone notes are the ultimate convenience, I'd have to go with a notebook. There's something very classical about a notebook and if you keep them they get better with the years and nothing can beat a notebook and a pen set aside the park or at a café.
Do you judge a person by their notebook?
I definitely think someone's notebook gives an insight into their personality. Its all in the subtle details and very subjective. It's not that I wish to judge anyone but a person gives off a lot about who they are through subtle details. It's all arbitrary as the notebook doesn't need to be sophisticated or even look like a homeade leatherback as if they were Thoureau coming straight out of Walden Pond. It can be boring and minimal or even silly like a Lisa Frank notebook from grade school with neon unicorns and dolphins, I definitely think someone's notebook gives an insight into their personality.
What stationary do you have on your wishlist?
That's a world unto itself. Wren Press is a pretty good and for the sophisticated and classy Connor is an all time favorite with hand engraving, mongrams and crests for those who need to show off their coat of arms or perhaps to leave a pretty chic "Dear John Letter".
Text by Lucia Davies