Journaling Off The Grid - Where To Get Your Journal Book In Beacon


This month, I wrote my column for our friends at the Highlands Current about journaling. By hand. Preferably in the morning before you do anything else. The article talked about the exercise of moving your hands and fingers for writing in print, cursive or just doodling. It also talked about how to bring your kids into it. Read the article here online if you didn’t catch it in print this week on newsstands.

PS: Yes, there is a misspelling of a word in that photo above. And yes, it is the misspelling of my son’s name. It is missing the “r.” And yes, I am aware of it. And yes, it is what happens when you have three children. Remembering all of the letters in a word can become besides the point as you rush to get things done. :) Or if you need to maybe get tested for dyslexia, which I would actually love to pursue and learn more about.

Journals at Binnacle Books

Binnacle Books is first known for selling new books. But they also sell journals when they come across distinguished versions, because in addition to new books, Binnacle buys old or used books and writerly things.

Like a classic old trusty black leather journal with a wrap-around tie. Good for any person, and not declarative of any kind of whimsy or emotion that you might possibly be putting in there. It is ready for every mood.

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For those with a more outreach-writerly mood, Binnacle has postcard books! Because why simply send a postcard, when you could send a postcard book, designed and produced by a publisher here in Beacon - Paravion Press - out of the old Beacon High School.

Postcard books from Paravion Press, a Beacon-based press. Available at Binnacle Books  Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

Postcard books from Paravion Press, a Beacon-based press. Available at Binnacle Books
Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

Blank but stately journals at Binnacle Books  Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

Blank but stately journals at Binnacle Books
Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

Journals at Dream In Plastic
(soon to be called Zakka Joy)

I know - before we get into this journal roundup at Dream In Plastic, you must know that shop owner Jenny has been working in the paper world for a while now - curating her storefront to be filled with stationery and kitchen fun - and is moving on from the word “Plastic.” More on that to come in an article. Because right now, we are focusing on what journals are in her shop.

Like these Japanese-inspired journals of many colors. Some are lined with regular old lines, and some are collages of different pieces of paper woven together. One could call these “blank” pages, but they may include grids or other designs. Great for those who fear staring at the blank white empty page.

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The most non-committal form of journaling is to scribble onto random scraps of paper. You could then slip them into this rainbow-hued accordion paper filing book.

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You might think these playful gray elephants below with polka-dotted ears are birthday invitations for a little person, but really, they are mini-journals for YOU. For those who are starting thin - you might not want to commit to a thick book - you could get a mini-journal. If you filled it up, and wanted another, you could have a library of these little journals, and then you could decide how to decorate the cover of the journal with a dated system to order the mini-journals that you accumulate…

PS: Loving those glossy purple nails? Shop owner Jenny got them done at Kim Nails in Wappingers Falls.

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Back by the beard oil in the back of the shop, you’ll find this crackly little journal (and others, it has cousins) for if you are feeling especially literary. And introverted. If you are over-caffeinating, you might as well have the coffee with a chocolate croissant from All You Knead Bakery, to smooth you out a bit.

PS: See that nail color? That’s mine! Not quite as glossy as Jenny’s, but covered. Picked up this polish at Rite Aid, but you can also find nail polish at La Mère on the other side of town on Main Street.

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So… under the sock wall, you’ll find rows and piles of journals. Pick up some of them, and you’ll see pages with flower prints and other prints to make you less scared to face the blank page. Don’t be fooled, though, into thinking this is a totally serious store. Sometimes this shelf holds rows of piles of birthday party plates and cups that sometimes are iridescent and involve unicorns.

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Journals At Play

Located just down the block a smidge from Dream In Plastic is the store called Play. They have journals too, and in different styles. Some covers are heavier than others, and some paper thinner than others. If you’re the kind of person who writes on the reverse page of each page of your journal, then you’ll want to check to make sure these pages are thick enough to handle your ink.

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For the young (or old) musicians in your life, there is the Songwriter’s journal at Play. Parts of the design inside the journal are dedicated to taking special notes if you were to capture sounds from your head, putting them onto paper.

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Journals At No. 3 Reading Room and Photo Book Works

Some real heavy-hitters in the bookmaking business in Beacon are No. 3 Reading Room and Photo Books Works, located down on the east end of town near the mountain, in a quaint building that the business owners and artists bought in order to fit their needs. While mainly closed for a long summer vacation, they will have custom journals using handmade indigo-dyed paper over purse-sized journals, and letterpress-printed bookmarks with quotes about books, poetry and reading available during the holiday season. So be sure to check back!

Pens and Pencils

There are also pens and pencils at both Dream in Plastic and Play, which you could play with as you write in these journals. I know that when I was at the DMV getting amazing service at 4:30 pm to renew the registration on my car (it was weirdly empty at that hour midweek - so weird), the woman helping me loved the pink pen from Dream in Plastic that I took out of my bag to sign the receipt. You might say she was delighted, and wanted to buy that plus kitchen decor for her family member who just moved into an apartment.

Treat yourself. A really easy small spend to make you feel good for weeks and maybe months.

A Little Beacon Blog’s Shopping Guide!

For more shopping tips like this, and to find more shops that also might carry a journal or two in their store - maybe your next favorite journal - see A Little Beacon Blog’s Shopping Guide.