... is posed by Sandra at Book World in post titled Read out of existence. She quotes James Shapiro's A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare : 1599 -- "London's bookshops were by necessity Shakespeare's working libraries and he must have spent a good many hours browsing there, moving form one seller's wares to the next (since, unlike today, each bookseller had a distinctive stock), either jotting down his ideas in a commonplace book or storing them away in his prodigious actor's memory." Then wonders: " What did he write with? Surely he can't have had a quill and inkwell in his pocket?"
We take jotting something down for granted nowadays, without reflecting that the instruments and materials we use once weren't readily available.