Monday, 17 October 2011

Quirky things about Belgium: the Atoma notebook

Searching the internet for a picture to illustrate my next blogpost on essential tools for language learning, I discovered something I don't think I ever knew: the Atoma notebook is Belgian.

Not only that, but it seems difficult to purchase in other countries. Their website lists just one outlet in the UK; they are all but absent from Amazon.

I should have known this, of course. Maybe, on some level, I did once know. When I moved from Brussels to the UK in 1991, it was long before the days of Paperchase and I longed for the superior stationery of the continent. I don't know if Atoma notebooks were one of the things I'd missed. I hadn't been allowed them much, anyway, because they were expensive. And with good reason.

Here, they're everywhere. My little local supermarket has a stack of them every rentrée and sells them on a 3 for 2 deal. You can buy them in every shape and size, and they are wonderful. 

For the uninitiated, what makes these notebooks so great is that you can rip out the pages and then replace them elsewhere in the same notebook, or even a different one, since their binding is identical across their range. This makes them a dream for those afflicted with OCD tendencies. It also makes them a dream for the perennially disorganised (with whom I have much more sympathy): you don't have to worry which notebook to take with you, just grab one, and you can play with the pages later. 

You can buy dividers, too, and split your "learning Italian" notebook into a section for vocab, a section for grammar, and that kind of thing. They sell address books, too - no more running out of space under S, you can just steal a page from the Z section. Or how about a writer's journal? Jot down any idea, overheard dialogue, or descriptive detail on any page: no more worrying about whether it's in the right section, because that is easily fixed afterwards.

So, there you go. The Atoma notebook: just one of the things that makes this little country great. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sweet! I've never heard of this type of notebook... I will have to seek one out :)