People ask me rather frequently “What is your definition of a commonplace book”?
Honestly, in my humble opinion, there is no “definition” of a commonplace book.
Some say it’s a collection of significant quotes you read. We’ll it is part off what I do, but it does not cut it, at all.
“Commonplace books (or commonplaces) are a way to compile knowledge, usually by writing information into books. Such books are essentially scrapbooks filled with items of every kind: recipes, quotes, letters, poems, tables of weights and measures, proverbs, prayers, legal formulas. Commonplaces are used by readers, writers, students, and scholars as an aid for remembering useful concepts or facts they have learned. Each commonplace book is unique to its creator’s particular interests. They became significant in Early Modern Europe.”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commonplace_book (4 feb 2017)
This is indeed more what I think a commonplace book is.
It is not a diary, but a book where you put down things you find interesting. And that is just it… a place where you write things down you think are important.
(And yes, I think it has to be a book, because that is part of the magic).
In my case it is a notebook (a dotted Leuchtturm 1917, colour Berry). It currently has lists with books (I have, I want to have, I’ve read…), historical characters, events, quotes…
It is already that important for me, because it is mine. It is me. It is who I am, what I am. Who I want to be. When you read it, you get to know me.
And maybe, maybe one day it would be important for someone else too (but that is kinda romantic, and I’m not a romantic soul, at all).
And that is for me, the “definition” of mine commonplace book.