Somewhere in the process of writing last week's Field Notes: Snowblind review I happened across Jinnie's COLORS edition ranking on her Three Staples blog for the first time in awhile. This in turn reminded me that it's about time I made a ranking list of my own, a long time coming.
It's been just over a year since I started collecting Field Notes, and only a couple weeks since the anniversary of what I'd consider to be my first big post here on MBS-P-B - The Analog Aspect. What better time then, to revisit all the different COLORS editions in my possession and come out the other side with the Mike Bates Definitive Owned-Field-Notes-COLORS-Editions Ranking ™.
That being said with the appropriate amount of sarcasm, of course.
My process went something like this:
- After re-discovering Jinnie's list I decided that mine too would be a ranked list of all the COLORs editions that I personally own. This keeps it a little more authentic - I'm only giving my opinion of the books I've actually held, and in some cases used front to back.
- I then listed out all the COLORS editions in my possession and then divided them up into separate "favorites" and "un-favorites" lists. I don't particularly hate any Field Notes edition, but this made it a little easier to start off the ordering of things, rather than trying to just jump in and order all 15 included editions at once.
- As a side note, I decided to include the original Kraft edition in my ranking. Even without it technically being a "COLORS" release, it pre-dates the series and is arguably the inspiration for all that followed, so I think it deserves a spot on the list.
- After determining the initial groupings without too much precision, I sat down and physically leafed through all the books I had in my possession. Some were still in the packaging, others were unwrapped but unused, and still others were worn from having lived alongside me for a month or two. This helped me nail down a definitive 1-15 order across the two groups, and also allowed me to reminisce about my memo books from the past year or so - and the entries inside them. This step was probably the most fun.
- Getting closer to completion, I then laid all 15 editions out in my ranked order and went down the line comparing each to the one after it. I re-jiggered a couple of books around, and then went down the line once more to make sure I was happy with the order. Once finished I copied down my final order, and sat down to write this piece.
Which brings us to this: my Field Notes COLORS Edition Ranking as of February 2016:
- Shelterwood (from Spring 2014)
- America The Beautiful (from Spring 2013)
- Ambition (from Winter 2014)
- National Crop (from Spring 2012)
- Unexposed (from Fall 2014)
- County Fair (from Summer 2010, now as a stock release)
- Arts & Sciences (from Summer 2014)
- Workshop Companion (from Summer 2015)
- Shenandoah (from Fall 2015)
- Night Sky (from Summer 2013)
- Snowblind (from Winter 2015)
- Two Rivers (from Spring 2015)
- Kraft (as a stock release from inception)
- Cold Horizon (from Winter 2013)
- Expedition (from Winter 2012)
Odds & Ends:
After typing that out, I'm also struck by a few little observations that I hadn't thought of until now:
- First off, I seem to have quite the affinity for the spring editions. Three out of my top five editions are spring releases, which only makes me more excited for whatever's coming from Field Notes Brand this season. Eep!
- Secondly, looking at the editions I own they trend towards the newer releases. This makes sense, as the older editions are rarer and more expensive to obtain these days, but I really wouldn't mind getting to pick up some of those gorgeous classic releases. Mackinaw Autumn or Day Game anybody?
- Lastly, doing this made me appreciate some of my favorite editions a whole lot more. I've used 13 of these little memo books now, and so I might go out and try to buy up more packs of some of my higher ranking releases soon. It would feel really good to know that no matter what I'd be able to use more of these awesome books in the coming years - although it could be mighty expensive too. Yikes.
And with that, I think I'll bring this inaugural Field Notes COLORS ranking to a close. If you've stayed this long into the piece then I commend you, and thanks so much for enduring my Field-Nerdery.
There are only two things I think I have left to say: first that my ranking could change as time goes by, I obtain more COLORS releases both new and old, and as I use more of them through the months. I may update this ranking again at a later date. Until then though, consider this canon.
And lastly, I wanted to thank you again for reading all this. I know it may be seriously nerdy, but what would the point of a blog be if I couldn't go a little wild sometimes?