You can never love your Moleskine…

Trm1"…too much, but you can love it so much that your ideas for how
extensively to use it become faintly ridiculous. (For those who don’t
know (and why the hell don’t you?! HUH?!): Moleskine.)

Moleskinerie,an excellent, excellent blog on the pleasures we can find in the
tactile, the retro, the writerly and open–eyed ways that passionately
using any notebook implies, has recently linked to a guy who tells you
how to organize your Moleskine as a blog. This strikes me as
silly. A blog is, and to be a blog pretty much has to be, a hypertext
document displayed on a computer with an internet connection.

The connection is the key to a blog, allowing you to surf away from the blog using its links, and then to surf away from those
links, using theirs. The possibility of a non–self–referential, chaotic
surf. When you write, however creatively, in a notebook, what you have
is — a notebook. Repeat: a notebook. Not a blog. A notebook. Lots of
paper? Writing? Hard covers? No USB port? Ah yes, that’ll be a

addition of page numbers or little sticky tabs to your notebook is your
choice and may be helpful. But, more and more, these ‘moleskine hacks’
jarringly make me think of a hypothetical kid who likes a piece of
driftwood he found on the beach so much that soon we hear the refrain:
“If I find out how long it is I can use it as a ruler! Look, I can dip
it into my soup, it’s a spoon! If I burn the end of it, it can be my
pencil! I’ve drawn a face on it, it’s a cat! Meow!”


Pete @ Perapathetic

23 thoughts on “You can never love your Moleskine…

  1. mmm.. I must admit Pete I lean towards your way of thinking. I’m passionate about creativity and innovation, and I find all the unusual (and sometimes extreme) variations and permutations of Moleskine use fascinating and very clever. I’m sure they do something quite special for their creators. For me however, the simplicity and elegance of the Moleskine provides a perfect foil for the more frenetic and technology dominated side of my working life. It allows me to attain a creative balance which I find pleasurable and necessary.

  2. Okay, that was the most bizarre post I’ve ever read on this site. Not only is the language of the entry intensely awkward, but the writer doesn’t even seem to have a logical point. Many blogs are very much like online diaries, and isn’t a dairy one of the most common things someone might use a Moleskine for? The “analog blog” is nothing more than a paper diary recorded in a methodical manner, so what’s your problem? And the story of the “hypothetical boy”? Whaaaaat?!?!?!? You reference this “boy” and his “stick” like it’s a common story or an example of something profound and recognizable, but really it just comes off as slightly creepy rambling about a little boy at play.

  3. I think Fred just got a little hung up on the word, “Blog,” more than anything else. I have to agree w/ the originator of this post that what is being described is just a journal, or if we must embelish, a journal with footnotes. It is rather amusing to see the reversal of metaphors at play. “This weblog is my online journal,” gave way to, “this journal is my analog weblog.”

  4. Pete,

    Please, please don’t point out how inane these ideas are. This website is the funniest thing I have seen in a long time, and you’ll wreck it if you start telling people how silly all this salivating over “analog” notebooks is.

    I’m working on a post right now about what to do with pieces of paper we don’t want anymore. My idea is to make airplanes out of them. Hey… maybe we can call them “paper airplanes”?!

    Mark (a guy who writes with pen & paper but doesn’t feel this is particularly revolutionary)

  5. *gulp* First off, I’m surprised and honoured to be featured on Moleskinerie of all places! Thanks… I think!

    Mark, I take your point about the paper aeroplanes, but my point was that they probably didn’t have a standardised name before someone thought of ‘paper aeroplane’. ;o) Notebooks did. Moleskines especially so!

    Not that I’m simply nitpicking over language, though. Joshua, my problem is that a notebook of any kind might have a lot of overlapping functions when compared to a blog, but blogs are part of the internet and function by links to other blogs. A fundamental difference which Adam puts far more eloquently than I do. Each, though, have their strengths and pleasures and I don’t really see the need to squash them together, much like Paul. I’m sorry about the language being awkward – peripathetic usually doesn’t get many visitors so it’s easy to get lazy. ;o)

  6. Well, speaking for my own Moleskine “hacks”, some of them are tongue-in-cheek and others are simply refinements of what we do.

    Sure, numbering pages isn’t a great new revolution, but a couple of the hacks I read about numbering only one side of a page made sense. I also liked the idea of Moleskine hyperlinks. Sure, its silly. Yes, we’re refining a technology thats only about 5000 years old. That’s part of the charm!

    A Moleskine is only as good as the words we put in it.

    I hold this mantra in my heart even if I don’t always practice it. I try to write a little bit every day (right now its Robert Howard Conan ripoff yarns). I always look at my obsession with a bit of self-loathing. They ARE just notebooks.

    However, they are remarkable notebooks for a few reasons. They are very high quality. They are built to last eons. They are inexpensive (compared to PDAs) and useful.

    As we use our notebooks and learn new ways to improve their usability or utility, its fun to share these bits of wisdom no matter how small they are.

    I have always been one to get more interested in the details of an art instead of the art itself. I knew a girl once who said “you could find any subject on earth and make it boring”. When I get into home theater systems I spend more time wiring them than watching them. When I get a faster computer, I spend more time benchmarking it than using it to play games. And when I get into a little black notebook, I get more interested in the notebook, the pens, the ink, and the “hacks” than I do in writing in it. I am like my boss who spends more time working on his Mustang’s engine than he does driving it.

    After the recent bout of new Moleskine Hacks, I came up with another list that I plan to write up in the next day or so. None of them are how to use Moleskines to pick up hotplates or building an umbrella out of Moleskines, but they are some useful tips I have found.

    Is it rediculous to say that wearing cargo pants is a hack? Yeah, it is. Is it fun? Yeah, it is.

    I think half of the fun of building a format for a Moleskine blog is to thumb our nose at the technology while simultanously thumbing our nose at our own obsession with a technology older than the pyramids.

    Now if you don’t mind, I am just about finished with my Moleskine-lined tuxedo.

  7. Just a context; some opinions; and passions talk.

    What’s beautiful in the story is that no one is wrong. It’s just different points of views that lead to passions or incomprehension of behaviors.

    This said, I’ll return to my anablogging. (hahaha don’t be upset by this one too 😉

  8. Pete, I’m on your side. I number my spreads, and I carry index cards in the back, but that’s it. I don’t even use the Space Pen. Like you, I like Moleskinerie, and I’m glad it’s cool enough to let people poke some fun.

    You’re right about blogs, too. The net is fundamentally different than the printed (scribbled) word.

    And I dig your driftwood story. I need to use that metaphor some time. Gee, where should I write it down…

  9. I couldn’t agree more with the point of view expressed in this post.

    What I like in the Moleskines is their simplicity / ease of use and to chaotically jot down some poem drafts.

    Many times I scribble these bare bones drafts on my Moleskine and then I improve them and post them on my blog.

  10. 1. Moleskins suck.
    2. Bloggers are not journalists
    3. Repeat 2. 16,789 times
    4. Nobody cares what bloggers write

    I feel sorry for your wasted time.

  11. Well, Name does not realy deserve a reply, but what the heck..

    1. I know for a fact they don’t, has been using standard squared model for a three weeks now and found out that it is the types of notebooks I used before that sucks.

    2. A) So what? B) Some are.

    3. Why?

    4. Correct for a large number of blogs, which propably is fine by the blogger, another large number of blogs are read.

    About wasting time, since we don’t realy have a handle on what time actual is, it is not possible to say A: It can be wasted. B: That it is a bad thing to do.

  12. Hahahahah. Some times, people just don’t understand or just didn’t want to. You think that I blog for you? Nah, sorry to disappoint you, I blog for myself otherwise I would not blog. You think that the 1.5 million of MSN space bloggers are writers? I don’t think so. They do this for them, for their friends and family.

  13. Hi all

    Nice thoughts, but perhaps you can’t remember anymore when people used to write things down on papper (their accounts balance, shopping lists, etc) and they made quite an efford to change from papper to a PDA/computer where they could not ‘chaotic write’.

    Notebooks means freedom !

    You can, (yes, say it again) you can write things up side down, draw any instructions or simbols, etc and (ok, I will be crucified for this one) you can write ‘I was here’ and tear this page out to slide it under your best friend’s door.

    Can you do that on a PDA ?

  14. Fred, although I still disagree with your suggestions, I will defend to the death your right to make them. :oD Also, Nick and Paulo, I use my moleskines somewhere in the middle of the ways you both describe. I sometimes card them or tab them, and then end up throwing the cards away or ripping the tabs out in a fit of moleskine-inspired aestheticism. Hell, even in these convenience-obsessed times, I *like* having to slowly search through pages of writing and memories.

  15. Hi,

    I’m a new moleskine user 🙂 and proud of it heheh..

    My colleagues have even stopped me in my tracks to say…

    ‘wow…you moleskine??’

    It’s my daily diary…my nitpicks on life and jotbook of things i see, hear and feel.

    My husband is dying to know what i write in it but i’m not allowing him to see it :).

    does anyone here allow anyone else to read their Mole?…

  16. Who cares if i blog in my moleskine or not?!?
    It’s mine. I paid for it. I can “blog” (whatever that means) in it if I want to!

    And futhermore, Why are there so many people that come onto a moleskine fan site to rant of how much moleskines suck?

    If you think they suck then keep that to yourselves and just don’t buy one! But don’t go hurting other people, telling them that they are stupid cause they like a brand of notebook, you’re the retards.

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