Having had several detailed discussions with my brother on what constitutes acceptable paper for note-books or letters, I felt sympathy for Thoreau having to search for blank paper.

For letters, I prefer blank sheets, but for journals or other notebooks, I like lined or chequered, though am quite particular about the spacing of these.  Not as particular as my brother however, he went so far as to have his own writing paper printed so the lines were the exact distance apart he wanted them.

‘I cannot easily buy a blank-book to write thoughts in; they are all ruled for dollars and cents.’  7 September 1851

Source: Henry David Thoreau, The Journal 1837-1861, Damion Searls (ed.), preface by John R. Stilgoe (New York: New York Review Books, 2009), p. 77


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