“The Cult of Moleskine”


“I think record taking and journalism encourages people to document their lives,” he says. “Now people are making scrapbooks, collecting various stuff and gluing it into their Moleskines, tickets and stuff. My basic motivation is to encourage people to document their lives. It’s good for the soul to look back.”

There is an irony here, too, in that people are using technology to encourage people to forego technology. A common theme in the posts on Moleskine fan sites is the distrust of the digital.

“If a PDA is a ‘personal digital assistant,’ ” writes Joe Kissell on InterestingThingoftheDay.com. “This one certainly lives up to its name: It assists your fingers quite ably. It never crashes or runs out of power, it has a high-contrast display and its handwriting recognition is flawless, and it was even featured in a recent issue of Wired magazine as just the kind of gadget a forward-thinking geek might want to carry.”

For article, make sure reader knows about: pouch at back for storing business cards, loose paper; durable cover; elastic to bind contents; pocket-sized.

For all the talk of the Moleskine’s low-tech charm, it should be noted its design is rather crafty. Every excuse a writer might have not to carry a notebook — the pages aren’t flat; stuff will fall out; it’s too conspicuous — has been taken care of in an elegant fashion, freeing you to scribble away. The greatest fear — that your private thoughts might fall into the hands of a stranger — is even addressed on the first page of each notebook. Right beneath space for your name, address and telephone number is an “As a reward” line. The amount to fill in is a topic of much debate on Frasco’s comments page.

“I crossed out the dollar sign and put in ‘One pint of Guinness’ as a reward,” writes Arne. “I’d like to think that if I ever lost it and it was returned by a nice individual that it could lead to a nice chat over a drink from the country of many famous writers.”

“The Cult of Moleskine”
By Craig Courtice

The National Post

Image: “Spiral” by Ophelia Chong
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