My English teacher got me into the habit of keeping daily journals when I was in grade 5. What started as a summer assignment soon became a habit. You know what they say about habit – it takes 40 days to turn one activity into a habit; that is what happened with journal writing.
I should have some dozen of journals and notepads stacked somewhere inside a drawer in my house; most of which are the fancy ones with lined and ruled smooth papers, and hard covers with cartoons or funky patterns embedded in them. The last time I dusted off these memories, I realized how much I have matured and I really didn’t need to turn each page and read every sentence written in the journal to know that. It shows in the type of notebooks I moved on to over the years. My earliest journals mostly feature cartoons, while the recent ones are more thoughtful, both in terms of appearance, its usage and the cost. The current journal I am using is Buffalo leather Lokta Journal.
I received it as a Christmas gift from a friend and by far, this is the most user-friendly I’ve ever come across. The leather cover is a deep purple color (which although is not my favorite color, looks pretty cool) with a twine attached to it, which allows the journal to stay safe and secure from accidental creasing. The lokta paper inside, as I understand is all handmade, acid-free, germ resistant and eco-friendly. Now, I haven’t used lokta journals or lokta anything for very long, and if what I have learned about lokta papers is any true then this journal will stay unblemished for years to come. The papers are hand smoothened and are hand stitched to the leather cover which prevents the act of pulling out papers and eventually thinning the journal (guilty!).
The journal, as a whole is very flexible and can be easily rolled and stuffed inside a small pouch, one thing that is not possible in other journals with hard cover. I use ballpoint pens with my lokta journal which is just convenient, and together they give beautiful result. On occasions, I have also used rollerball and gel pens on the paper and the outcome has been impressive. Turns out, the paper even welcome color pencils and crayons gracefully. However, fountain pens and lokta paper don’t get along, resulting in bleeding and blotchiness.
Keeping all the goodness of the journal aside, what I love most about lokta journals is the fact that regardless of how ugly my handwriting is, when scribbled on the lokta surface the texture and color of the paper gives it an ancient aura, making it look unconventionally pretty. And every evening when I sit down to write something, I am transported back to the time when things were simpler and slower. The regular journals, which might look really funky and cool in terms of the graphics they receive, cannot offer that experience. And most of all they don’t last very long.
The last time I went through my old journals was nothing short of a revelation to me. Most of the papers in it had been destroyed by bookworms. Plus, I also found some pages, where I might have had spilled some water or drink, showed washed ink and unreadable words. There were fractions of the journal that I couldn’t even read properly, but doesn’t that break the essence of journal keeping – to be able to relive old memories logged in words? When I compare the durability and sturdiness guaranteed by lokta journals to the reality of regular journals, to me, the former proves to be a hands-down winner. One has to give the hand-crafted journals a try to see the difference. Plus, they are extremely eco-friendly. I say more power to the environment and to you!!