It’s the end of September, and I’d been eagerly anticipating an email from Field Notes for a few weeks. The email in question would tell me what the Fall Edition notebooks would be.
I started my quarterly subscription a couple of months back with the Summer Edition – the Three Missions pack – which came as two sets of three notebooks, consisting of a notebook each for the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo space missions. Each set came with three “Punch-Out and Assemble” Mission-Specific Crew Capsule Models for each of the missions. They also arrived with a limited edition Three Missions vinyl sticker; two sets of original craft coloured notebooks; a Field Notes branded pen, pencil, and a rubber band. I don’t remember ever being as happy when receiving a bit of post.
For the uninitiated stationery-nerds out there, Field Notes is a stationery brand from Chicago. They are famous for their signature craft coloured three packs of pocket notebooks, inspired by “the promotional memo books distributed to American farmers over the last hundred years by seed, tractor, and other agricultural companies.”
Each quarter, Field Notes release a special edition notebook in limited numbers. Each is uniquely designed and themed, using different paper stocks, colours, and designs; and sometimes even formats, with some past editions fetching hundreds on eBay. Field Notes offer an annual subscription service whereby you can pay in advance for two of each of the upcoming four releases. My first subscription edition, the Three Missions, was the 39th quarterly edition the company has released.
I’ve been collecting these editions for a little while now. It’s safe to say that my addictive tendency has flared up. Here are some of my favourites (in no particular order):
I mean, look at them – how could I resist? The notebooks themselves are lovely with photographic covers and little details from each of the missions on the back. But what really sold them to me was the punch-out and assemble crew models. I’m a sucker for a bit of paper craft. Or so I thought. They’re still unmade in a drawer in my office because I’m heavy handed and haven’t built up the courage to spoil them yet.
These were the last pair I bought before I took out my subscription and I credit these as the main catalyst for the situation I now find myself in – a fully paid-up member of the Field Notes stationery collecting fraternity (or FNSCF for short). There are two sets of notebooks in this edition, A West-Coast set and an East-Coast set. Each has gold and blue foil on the cover that makes my heart sing terrific music. Best of all, when you line each notebook up end-on-end, they make the coastline of the US – one the East Coast, one the West Coast. ‘Ah ha ha ha, ha ha ha ha ha’ was the involuntary noise I made when I first did it.
A set of six notebooks in a box, each designed with a specific workshop skill on the cover and a set of stickers. I bought one of the last ten of these stocked at Field Notes HQ in Chicago. I’d put them in my toolbox alongside my drill and hammer if I didn’t think it would probably scuff the set, but then I’d only ever see them once a year. And that’s not enough.
My brother bought me this set for Christmas. I think he probably picked this set because it came with an iron-on patch with ‘Campfire Master’ emblazoned on it and he thought I’d like it. That’s correct, well done David. The three notebooks represent Dusk, Night and Dawn. They are incredibly beautiful and detailed things.
Another gift from my bro, this time from a visit he made to New York and the gift-shop at MoMa. They released 50 different versions of these, one for each of the States, with a Blue, Red and Yellow notebook in each. On the back of each is some facts about the State that the set represents. This is the first set of Field Notes that I ever owned. They got filled with very important information. Or so I thought – I found them recently in my office and they’re full of shite.
After a few fruitless weeks of searching the ‘Field Nuts’ (that’s a thing) Reddit and Facebook groups for clues as to what the Fall Edition might be, my email pinged yesterday afternoon with news of the latest release. The ‘End Notes’ edition are a break from the standard three packs of pocket notebooks I’ve collected so far – a handsome two set, one green, one blue, and taller than the standard books. They are beautiful. And are on route to me as we speak.
You can find out all about the stationery I am addicted to buying here. Whilst you’re there, maybe you could order me a couple of sets of the RAMS special editions? Cheers.