The Night Sky in your Back Pocket (but don't ask where the sun shines)

by Scribble Monboddo

Once upon a time when Nero's Notebooks was known simply as Pocket Notebooks, stocking a brand called Back Pocket Notebooks was more than a little confusing. Now, though, all is clear - and since these notebooks adopt the increasingly popular 90x140mm format, they really will fit in a back pocket. Depending on the cut of one's trews, naturally.

This particular pair of notebooks, dedicated to The Night Sky, neatly illustrate the constellations to be seen from north and south hemispheres of the planet. Admittedly Google Sky will do that too, but as the old tag-line has it: forget the app, there's a notebook for that.

So are these any good for taking notes while stargazing? Well, possibly, but in all honesty using a torch to write rather spoils one's night vision. I contemplated trying during the Perseid meteor shower, but writing-up our limited observations post-hoc was rather easier.

As notebooks for use in daylight or candle-light, though, these work well. There's a tiny bit of texture on these dot-grid pages, so they're great with pencils. It's fairly pleasant paper to write on with a fountain pen, too; there's a little bit of feathering, but not enough to really get in the way of everyday note-taking.


These definitely take full marks for presentation, though. The full night sky maps on the outer covers are accompanied by a handy list of constellations on the inside, all the way from Mensa to the poop deck, which will bring back memories for those of us who remember the pre-internet age of pocket sky-spotter's guides. Yes, that is a bit of a conflation between mythical and mythological but it's hard not to like the idea really: "Hello, I'm Professor Hercules - Reader in Mythology, University of Thebes". Well, one can dream, eh?

A little nudge to look up and wonder is never a bad thing, after all; if you haven't stared into the inky darkness and had a 'wow' moment recently, get out and do it tonight. Tell them Scribble sent you. Oh, and if it moves you to poetry... take a notebook.