Seriously. SERIOUSLY. Listen.
I know it’s super awesome and super artistic to have your personal grimoire written on paper the color of old whale bone, with foxing and water stains. I know it’s gorgeous to write on it in sanguine inks and sepia tones, to do detailed watercolor paintings across the entire background of a page, and use delicate, spidery, writing to create the text… But the first time you try to use that by firelight you’ll be thinking quite differently.
I know that it’s cool to have these big, impressive, metal-and-leather tomes that go “THUD” when you open them, and have cast pewter hasps that lock them. I know you love the feel of textured papers that are imported, and the quality feel of hand-binding…But the first time you scuff, dent or damage it… you’re going to shit your pants.
So, here is what I genuinely suggest:
- A5 (half A4). That’s a drawing surface of roughly 8x5” - which is pretty generous once you start poking around at it. This size can fit into just about any bag or satchel, which makes it easy to transport.
- White, offwhite, or slightly “aged” paper is far better than deckled, or coffee-stained. Darker paper is harder to read by candle or firelight. I once saw someone accidentally light their grimoire on fire because they had to hold it directly over a candle to read the sanguine pen on tea-dyed paper.
- Soft leather or leather-like cover that wraps around the book like an envelope and ties/clasps shut. It’s soft, flexible, and durable. It can be dropped without denting, tearing, or breaking and protects the page edges.
- Get a small pack of drawing/writing tools. Mechanical Pencil and Eraser being the top slots, and a pack of light/water fast pens. Water damage will be one less thing to worry about.