“ Brand: WHSmith / Type: Stationery „
This may seem a strange product to review, but I spent a long time searching for something like this, so I hope my review is helpful to at least someone.
Whilst I have no problem in remembering the birthdays or addresses of my own family, when my husband and I began living together I realised that I was going to have to keep a note of all of his family's details as well. It was getting a bit embarrassing sending cards to people with 'sorry it's late' written on them every time, because my husband had forgotten about birthdays.
Although I realise I could have kept a note of the addresses in a plain notebook - or even come into the 21st century and noted them on my laptop or phone - I decided that I wanted to buy an address and birthday book. When I set about looking for one, I wasn't sure if they actually existed or if this was something I'd just dreamt up in my mind! I spent absolutely weeks looking for one, both on the high street and online and although I found a few, I'm quite fussy, so there was always a problem - too small, paperback (I wanted a hardback book) or not enough space for addresses. I didn't actually consider looking in WH Smith, although the more I think about it, it was probably an obvious place to look. I popped in after work one day and couldn't believe my luck when I found this birdcage print address and birthday book, which met my requirements fully.
The book is spiral bound and has a hardback cover which goes right around the book covering the spiral bound spine. The pages are A5 size, however the book itself is a little bit bigger than this, due to the extended spine. The paper of the pages is good quality and decorated with a pretty pink bird design.
WH Smith sells this book in a variety of designs which you can find on their website. There were only two designs in the shop when I visited, but I really liked this one, which is cream with a birdcage design and lots of silhouettes of birds in pretty pastel colours.
One thing I found when searching for a book of this type, was that some of those available would only have four or five spaces per letter of the alphabet to write addresses. If you have a large family with the same initial, this is not really any good. This particular book is indexed A-Z and each letter has room for twelve addresses. The space to write addresses is good and not too cramped so my writing is not falling off the page. There is also a section to write in a phone number, mobile number and email address.
The birthday section of the book is at the back and again is indexed month by month, so it is easy to flick to the relevant month and find who you need to send cards to/buy presents for. The room to write birthdays is very generous with room for up to ninety birthdays per month!
The thing I don't like about the birthday section, is that the pages are split into two columns, one for date and one for the name of the person whose birthday it is. This has meant that on some months the birthdays have been entered in the incorrect date order. This might be a minor niggle, but I'd prefer it was set out more like a diary so that I could easily see whose card I had to buy first.
I have written anniversary's in the birthday section as well, although I might have liked a separate section for this. Another thing that this book doesn't have which others I looked at did, is a page showing things like birthstones, traditional year by year anniversary gifts, signs of the zodiac etc... This of course can be easily found online but I just think it could have been handy. What I'm going to do is print it all out and stick it in the back pages anyway.
The book costs £7.99 from WH Smith which was in line with the price of others that I looked at. My husband did not seem too happy when I told him how much it cost, but personally I don't think it's too bad considering it is a book I intend to keep for many years.
On the whole I am very pleased with this book. It is good quality and it has helped me be more organised (I'm quite a disorganised person but my secret wish is to be like Monica from Friends!). I would definitely recommend this book if you're looking for this type of product and I believe we are going to be buying a second one to give as a gift to my mother in law.