83 year old diarist shares his hobby of a life time

old diaristJohn Gadd is an 83 year old diarist who over his lifetime has filled 151 volumes with four million words. His journals weigh in at half-a-tonne. In his journal he also includes photographs, illustrations, cuttings from newspapers and everyday items like food wrappers, tickets, and mementos. These bits of ephemera add to the story of one man’s life. His diary starts in 1947 and has been kept ever since which means his diary is eight times the size of War and Peace

John Gadd said ‘To begin with the diary was quite hard work and pretty boring. But after a few years I started being honest with myself and thought ‘what the hell am I doing this for if I can’t tell the truth?’

Follow the link for the full article Dear diary… Man, 83, shows off Britain’s biggest personal journal which he’s been writing for 66 years and images of John Gadd’s journals

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How to Choose a Journal

In response to questions I have made a video on How to Choose a Journal. Hopefully people who are looking for a journal that they can both write and sketch in, will find my thoughts useful. If you want to write in a journal or sketch in journal choices are easier than if you want to mix the two activities in one book.

To summarise what I look for when I choose a journal is
Size – it has to fit in my handbag
Paper weight and quality – I like to be able to sketch
A stitched binding must be strong as glued books fall apart with heavy use
Archival paper is good
Extras like ribbon markers and envelopes at the back ( these are nice to have and not deal breakers)

The Journal I will use next is a Daler and Rowney which is 150 gsm cartridge paper. I have used these sketchbooks before and will report on how this one performs but I expect it to be suitable for what I need it for.
The Square journal in the video is a Hahnemühle is 140 gsm and made for dry media but will take a bit of wet media.

Other journals discussed are the Stillman and Brin range and Strathmore sketchbooks. They are great for sketching but expensive to glue stuff into!

I hope you enjoy “How to Choose a Journal” leave questions in the comments if you have any.

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