Violently Happy

by Scribble Monboddo

As it happens, the warbling magic elf Björk takes her name from the Icelandic for birch, the eerily wan bark of which has been known to stand in for paper in a variety of circumstances, possibly including the centuries during which paper, err, hadn't been invented yet.

There's a certain logic to making a notebook out of birch bark, but it probably wouldn't hold together for very long, so Field Notes have sensibly opted to emulate said dendrological dressings with a slightly mottled card exterior and subtle coloured staples. It's convincing enough that you can almost smell the sap, and the closest thing this all-American brand is likely to get to bleached Norse cool, which is fine.

Reasonably enough, this is a special edition for autumn, although we will have to forgive the makers calling it 'fall'. Very timely it looks too, and perhaps slightly too faithful to the origin story of Field Notes, supposedly inspired by the notebooks handed out to farmers by the tractor and fertiliser salesmen whose chronic inattention to humus and resultant soil erosion was reportedly one of the causal factors of the dust bowl. But you don't have to be an ex-tractor fan to enjoy the modern take on the concept.

Is the paper any good? Well, as ever it depends upon your intentions - honourable or otherwise. If you're planning a painstaking illuminated manuscript, this is probably not quite the thing; it does take ink, but it plays it straight through to the other side of the page. But for a graphite-powered thinking tool for anywhere that inspiration takes you - even slap bang in the middle of a field while you wait for International Harvester's repair team to arrive - it's just the ticket.