The Story Of A Notebook

BY Taylor Rebhan

Introducing Dwight Livingstone Curtis, a New York-based writer who’s here to tell us about the many uses of a Shinola notebook. Take it away Dwight:


A notebook is more than just a .doc: it’s an artifact, a mark in time, a record of the act of creation.  It’s a seismograph for your subway rides around the city, a bib for your coffees in the park, a shield and a pencil case and a portfolio. And, like a baseball cap or a pair of jeans, a notebook benefits from a little scuffing.  The shine becomes a patina, the edges curl to fit your back pocket, and it starts to appear and disappear in a flash of muscle memory. Before you know it you’re writing on the inside back cover and it’s time to move on to a fresh one.

A Shinola notebook is a good place to start. They’re made by hand in Michigan by Edwards Brothers Malloy, who have been doing this for over a century.  We’ve partnered with them to produce a line of linen-covered notebooks in three sizes, with hard- and soft-covers, plain, lined, and squared formats, and acid-free paper sourced in sustainably-maintained North American forests. We also offer thinner notebooks with paper covers. Whatever’s on your mind, we make a notebook to hold it.

Check out to see some photos of the ways we’ve seen our notebooks put to use by artists and writers, designers, a bartender, a back-of-the-envelope mathematician, even an enterprising Upper East Side botanist. Do you use one yourself? If so, we’d love to see how. Send photos to info@shinola.com, and we’ll post our favorites.

Each notebook comes with pop-out cardboard tools: here, a ruler and stencil, which can be stored in a folder in the inside back cover.


A Manhattan bartender’s original recipes, shown against his home bar.


Thick, acid-free pages hold ink—or watercolor paint—without bleeding through.


A selection of pressed fauna from East 96th St.


Still life with flowers.


No idea too big.


Writing and photography by Dwight Livingstone Curtis.

Get updates on products,
people and places we love.

Follow Us On Social