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Image: Cortina/Netherlands

“Ever since I read Songlines the first time, I guess in 1988, the idea of this notebook kept stuck in my head. Not for the history, not for the idea of recording “My Travels”, simply because it seemed to be so well-designed. Maybe it’s just my kind of urban exploration, looking for the near-perfect items that should be widely available but happen to be unobtainable, venturing through all stores that sell remotely similar items until, in one small side-alley there is that small seemingly forgotten shop that just happens to have two instances left. For the Moleskine, I looked for years. I found other fine notebooks, that were actually much cheaper than the Moleskine is nowadays. Desperate about it’s inavailability, I once even modified an otherwise good notebook with elastic band. I gave up.

Until, when i happened to be in Paris, I got the fits again. I had to find at least the same store where Chatwin bought those notebooks. Shame I didn’t remember the street name. Preparing myself for a day-long venture, I stepped into the first papeterie and to my surprise found precisely the notebook I was looking for. And, on the inside, i found that note referring to Chatwin. Doh. Only then i noticed the moleskine had already become widely available again. Only, it was not in the small, forgotten shops. It was available in the tourist shops, in the department stores, in the duty-free, it was also available in Germany, and Spain, and even the Netherlands. It had gone the way of the Victorinox Knife, of the Sigg bottle, of the Freitag Bag and the Montblanc pen (only those never got lost). It had become an overpriced gadget sold in museum shops.

However, the Moleskine is a pretty neat thing to have. Even though my handwriting really stinks and I can’t sketch a bit, being an architect, I have to make sketches and notes. And at last, I can be confident they end up in the right place.”

Recent comment by Christian
Moleskinerie Community Forum @ Orkut.