Commonplace books

In my studies recently I happened upon a type of “notebooking” that was fascinating. It combines two of my favorite things–notebooks and traditional books (which I happen to be passionate about making!). I am such a book geek that I had to learn more.

Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines it as:

Commonplace-book, a book in which are registered such facts, opinions or observations as are deemed worthy of notice or remembrance, so disposed that any one may be easily found. Hence common-place as used as an epithet to denote what is common or often repeated, or trite; as a commonplace observation.   

It’s taking a topic, such as sewing, literature, a branch of science or cooking and creating your own special book about it. It may include tables or charts, definitions, clippings, quotes, measurements or your observations. Some well known commonplacers included Thomas Jefferson, John Locke and Ben Franklin.  Jonathan Edwards also kept a commonplace book. 

Read more here and here.

Some modern uses for commonplacing may be for remodeling your home, landscaping or gardening, scrapbooking, reading an important literary work, fiction writing or Bible study. They can be invaluable resources for a life full of learning. And they can become treasures that your kids can fight over after your funeral!

 And of course, I will endeavor to make some commonplace books that are uncommon. If you are interested in a unique commonplace book customized to your special topic, please contact me for details and I’ll make a one of a kind commonplace book you will treasure for years to come. anna at bluebonnetbindery dot com

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