If there's one thing I could be accused of hoarding, possibly beyond all reason, it would be notebooks. Spiral, composition, college-ruled, wide-ruled, five subject, three subject, one subject...it doesn't matter. If it is paper, ruled or blank or graph, bound together in some manner, then I am never, ever throwing it out.
I have to stay out of the office and school supply sections in the stores because I will take fifteen minutes out of my shopping time, at the least, to just look at paper bound inside thicker paper, or leather, or plastic, and some of them have cool designs, or are recycled newspaper, or rubber binding, or have magnetic clips, and some have paper that is ruled on one side and graph paper on the other, and some fit inside my purse while others need a backpack and and and and...
It's not just the notebooks, though I adore every single one. It's what's in them. Every silly little fanfiction from when I was ten, every original idea, every doodle and sketch, every hastily composed poem that I thought was award-winning verse...I kept it all. It's all mine. I flip through them and read through absolute crap involving my love affair with random anime characters and find some pretty cool gems buried in the filth.
I also remind myself how not to write a romance. But I can also open every harlequin book on the market and gag that down if I need a refresher in romantic predictability. Just as a heads up, the heated-arguments-with-a-slice-of-sexual-tension route is a little well-traveled. But I suppose predictability is helpful in literary porn as it helps us flip through to the steamy bits that much faster.
These notebooks are so important to me that, when my dad and I had a particularly bad fight and I thought I was being kicked out of the house, I salvaged two things first and foremost: a pearl ring my mother had given me that her grandmother had given her, and a messenger bag with a broken strap that was packed full of notebooks. It didn't matter that I hadn't looked at the contents of these notebooks but once a year since I stored them; I couldn't let them be lost to me. So in the car they went and are actually in my 'apartment' now, in the valued pile of 'shit I'm not getting rid of ever.'
For some semblance of value comparison, note that my Wii and all its accessories are still sitting in the 'undecided' area.
In those notebooks are two especially important composition books. The older of the two was one that my best friend ever and I wrote a co-authored X-Men Evolution fanfiction. This may not sound particularly awesome to you, but reading it now is pretty epic. We were something like...thirteen, fourteen years old, and she was visiting for the summer, because I'd moved to Pennsylvania, leaving her behind in Arizona. And that story is still pretty epic, and we can still remember important bits of it, almost a decade later. Silly fanfiction? Sure. Intense shot of nostalgia? Definitely.
The other is a red composition book, pasted to the hilt with magazine clippings. It was a note-passing book, between me and my friend Juli. Created on my impetus due to super petty high-school level envy that she was doing the same thing with our mutual friend K, and I was totally jealous that she wasn't doing it with me. It's been like five or six years now, I can own up to (some of) my insecurities. Reading through it now, I can laugh a little bit about how serious we thought life was then. I mean, some of it was serious (I believe that notebook was where I confessed that I'd been passing the medicine cabinet and contemplating downing everything in there (wow, dark place)), but a lot of it was just high school bullshit.
Though, I'm surprised we still call it 'high school bullshit' when everything that happened in high school tends to repeat itself in later life (also known as 'real life'), just on a different sort of scale and with different kinds of cliques. But I suppose high school bullshit is a condescending enough name for it, anyway.
Someday, I hope to do something with all of these notebooks. I hope they will be the impetus to me finally wrangling down a cohesive plot that isn't full of holes, and writing an excellent fantasy novel. And then, you know, getting as rich and famous as J.K. Rowling.
EDIT: I used 'impetus' twice within a single blog post. Does this make me a snooty blogger?