The Whys, Whens & Whats of Moleskines

Or1Lise: “Question: How did you find your first Moleskine? Were you deliberately looking for it it? How long ago? Was it love at first site?”

Bemsha: “I found the Moleskine by chance at a huge stationery store near my workplace in Tokyo earlier this year. I had just finished buying a large padded envelope in order to send some LP records to a DJ friend in Perth, Australia during my lunch break and was strolling around the same floor of the store. When I saw the stacks of Moleskines, I remembered that I’d been looking for a pocket size, no-nonsense and non-spiral notebook for sometime.

After reading the usual marketing anecdotes about Chatwin and etc. on a small advertising board placed beside the notebooks I was hooked but decided to wait awhile to cool down and figure out whether I really wanted one. When I got back to the office, I did a search on the web about the notebook and found out a few more facts, including the Moleskinerie [www.moleskinerie.com] site.

After work that evening, I had my first Moleskine in my hands.”

Diane: “I have Metafilter to thank

I am a member of the Well, and in one of the discussions in the Writers conference someone mentioned Moleskines. I’d never heard of ‘em. Someone else pointed to a discussion of them on Metafilter, which I read and which intrigued me so much the next time I was in a Bookstar I bought one of the small squared pocket notebooks. I wasn’t that impressed. I didn’t have a good place to keep it, and the squares were somewhat annoying. That notebook is still 99% empty. No idea where it is, in fact.

A little while later I needed a larger notebook to keep with me, and I decided to try one of the larger Moleskines, this time with lines. I’ve been hooked ever since! Good paper, great binding, the pocket in back…what’s not to like?”

Excerpts from a discussion at Moleskinerie/ORKUT.

Print it in Moleskine MSK format
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3 Responses to The Whys, Whens & Whats of Moleskines

  1. I first saw one at Lightyears, a store in the mall that sells candles, jewelry, and has a new-age theme. I think they were $15. I have been a pen collector for a long time (mostly fountain) and also collect journals, and this one caught my eye. I ended up so enamored of it that I wanted to share the joy, so got Kikker’ to sell me three cartons (18×3) of them that I then sold on the Zoss.com pen collector’s mailing list. I sold them for $11, making $2-3 profit on the $5.50 price, plus shipping to me, and then packing in 1s and 2s and shipping them out. Gave me more respect for what distributors do. It went well enough I bought another 3 cartons, though just lined this time. The squared weren’t as cool as I thought, and the plain had kind of waxy paper that was good for pencil but made the fountain pen ink bead up.

    Then Barnes & Noble started carrying them at list price ($9.95) and I got out of the biz. I’m surprised at how low “list” is…most of the web stores seem to be a big rip-off except for moleskineus.com.

    I don’t know if Kikkerland has gotten stricter about whom they sell to, the website kind of implies that, but the minimum order used to be $250 and they did take VISA, and if you wanted 54 notebooks it was a good deal.

  2. Stephen says:

    I first saw them at the Melbourne Museum in January 2004. I’ve been a pocketbooker for at least two decades, but I was intrigued by the references to Hemingway and Van Gogh etc (who’s this Bruce Chatwin? – I’d heard of Songlines – now I know.) I also saw the superior quality.

    A while later, when I needed my next notebook ( I use the pocket size) I got one from Borders, and by googling I found Armand’s fantastic site (this one!) which introdued me to a whole web-world of interesting stuff, awesome brains and amazing people which I otherwise would never have known about!

  3. peter says:

    First saw Moleskine notebook in a Pen shop in Brisbane. I have used square, spiral and leatherbound books before as a part-time journal but was never satisfied. The Moleskine has been the answer to my long search.
    I carry the Moleskine everywhere; recently through a Brisbane sub-tropical storm. The book got a little wet but only around the edges and did not fall apart.

    I recently gave one to my 78 year old father. He might become addicted like his 50 year old son.

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