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Three cheers for the written word

Once considered the staple of every girl’s wardrobe, the LBD – little black dress – is no longer THE fashion accessory having been overtaken by the revival of the LBN – little black notebook.  Apparently the new trend is the deliciously leather bound Moleskine notebooks for those artistic scribblings following in the footsteps or rather hands of the world’s most famous artists and writers.

How do we know? Well the company behind the Moleskine modelled on those used by Ernst Hemingway is up for sale at the reasonable price of €300m having generated sales of €64m last year. According to The Times investors are looking to ‘cash in on the revival of the writing pad.’

The company, based in Italy, was founded in 1997 by teacher Maria Sebregondi, who had read about Bruce Chatwin’s preference for small black notebooks. She later discovered that artists such as Picasso had used a similar design and further developed the brand to encompass diaries and city guides.

Secretly I harbour the belief that a substantial amount of those sales were based on their snazzy new colours, the yummy smell of the leather and pleasuring touch – sensory tangible qualities that make books so appealing and electronic Kindles not.

But I cannot deny I am delighted that the written word is alive and kicking; I have fond memories of love letters written at school which to this day are kept locked away in a memory chest. Do school kids still participate in these covert notes or is it a simple SMS LOVUx

These days I have a very good friend living in Australia and last year for her birthday I decided to sit down and write an extensive letter detailing my latest news. I knew this thoughtful effort would be well received but what I didn’t foresee was my friend’s inability to read my dreadful scrawl!

Have years of using a computer destroyed my ability to transcribe? Or is it more likely the computer has done me a favour and covered up the fact that my hand-writing has always been atrocious.

In an electronic age where Facebook and Twitter dominate communication, it is heartening to know there are those that still value the art of handwriting – even if it is illegible most of the time.

Blog Opinion of Vicky

Steve Lodge: Steve trained as a NCTJ journalist and is an experienced copywriter. He has over 15 years in agency, and started Oxygen in 2002.