The blue Leathersmith diary arrived from the UK a day or so ago and I am very pleased. It is still in its original box and has never been opened. I have had a red one in this exact same design and it held up brilliantly. I really like the gold hardware, and the paper is good quality. The interior pages always have 19__, rather than 20__, but that is no problem at all.
These diaries were very popular between the 1950s and 1970s. My first one was a one-year A5 diary when I was a teenager, and I found it hard to keep up with writing every day. After my parents died though, I used my journal to write down all my thoughts and feelings, because therapy was not a thing, and I am not really a talker anyway. I wrote everything down in my diary. After my first one-year diary I moved to five-year ones in A6 size because they were small, light, and portable. I also changed from paper and textile to leather because only leather really stood up to five years of wear.
About 15 years ago I burned all my diaries. I had a huge pile and it felt good to see all the pain and anger (and of course happiness, and love and gratitude) be consigned to the past. I write my diaries just for me.
At one stage you could find plenty of these little gems on eBay and Etsy, but nice ones don’t come up very often these days. I think most of them that are sold these days were unwanted/unused gifts, rather than deadstock from old shops. There is also, interestingly, a market for completed diaries from long long ago. People like to read about other lives I guess.
Leathersmith is still in operation – find them here. This is my favourite version of their diary. These diaries are very reminiscent of Smythson, but Smythson does not offer this splendid week-on-two-pages vertical layout.