The votes are in (4:1) and the winner is,
Thank you for voting in my last week’s post and making me go for the more economical five-year journal. I don’t know if this deserved an entire post, but you don’t know how grateful I am to have made a decision based on your suggestions. Next time, I’m asking you, for sure, when I have to decide on something big.
Anyway, I thought I’d give you a little review on this. Five-year journals have been popular for a while, with Barnes and Noble’s One Line A Day being one of the most popular ones. The idea is for people to journal/write a diary, who haven’t got the time to do so. They come in all shapes and sizes, with all sorts of themes. The idea is to have a page divided into five sections of 3-4 lines each, all with a 20__ to write the year down, and the date on the top of the page. If you like the idea of keeping a diary but think you’ll have nothing to say, this is sort of perfect for you. And I am not being sponsored by Amazon to say that!
My copy of the Five-Year Memory Journal by Sterling Publishing
I was only aware of the popular Potter Style Q and A a day journal. I liked the idea of having specific questions to answer for five years that blended quirky and introspective. But, it was overpriced, for what it is, here in India. So, I considered getting this less popular one simply because it was the same concept, but different.
It is still pricier than a diary I would buy, though that may not be the case with the pricing in UK and the US (about 15$). It is part of many gift guides this time of the year and I do see the appeal. It would be nice to receive, though you probably wouldn’t buy it for yourself. If I saw it in a shop, the first thing that would strike me about it is how small it is. It is about 15cm/6inches in length, but even then, it just looks small and cute. I probably wouldn’t have bought it if I had skimmed through it, but after going through the questions, I am glad I did.
I had expected the cover to be faux leather/PU, but it is a nice, slightly thick grey paper wrapping a cardboard cover. I don’t know how well it will last in five years. The Potter Style journal has a cardboard cover, which isn’t popular with diarists. I also love the gold detailing and even the gilded pages are a pale gold, which I personally quite like, and serves as an interesting contrast with the grey.
It begins with an Oscar Wilde quote on self-development. Always nice to begin something with a little Oscar. There’s a red ribbon, something not available on the Potter Style journal. The pages are thick enough, but there are only 3 lines per year! It is going to be a real endurance test for me, and not just because of the see-it-to-believe-it want of space.
The actual questions have been called “juvenile” and “superficial” by reviewers, and I agree with that to a certain extent. This will be perfect for a female diarist between the ages of 14-21, and probably was written with her in mind. Of course, it can be argued that surely a 60-year-old male is also likely to have a “celebrity crush” and therefore, this can be a fun and silly challenge for anybody.
There is, however, quite desirable depth in subject matter, with questions like, “One thing I am unwilling to negotiate…”, “If I could teach anything, I would love to teach…to…” to perennial favourites like, “If I could time travel, I would go back to the time of…”. I knew this journal was meant for me when I came across the question on my birth date, “The best age to be is…because…”
This will be an endurance test for me because I have a propensity to happily talk about anything and nothing. Thus, I could easily write an entire essay on the age question, as well the one that asks about my favourite flavour of ice-cream. I’d have be really, really succinct, and that might prove to be more challenging for someone like me than other people.
Overall, I do think it is a lovely idea for a gift, or having a fun little thing to do for yourself. It is categorised as Self-Help on the back of the journal. I doubt if it can do that, but it can make you think about everyday things, both abstract and ordinary, which is absolutely fine by me.
Would you like to keep a five year journal?