Essays Hero Web Writing

In Praise of Moleskines.

I’ve been working on (and off) a review of the Moleskine Voyageur travel journal, and my thoughts about Moleskines in general kept slowing me down.

I turned the later into their own essay, and the good folks at The Cramped published it last week.

“I am writing to praise what鈥檚 become 鈥 to my mind 鈥 the聽humble聽Moleskine. The brand seems to be flourishing these days. There are always more licensed editions to buy, more planner options, more colors, more accessories. There is even a聽Moleskine caf茅, and I will marry whomever whisks me away there. While I feel like Civilians are as into Moleskines as ever, within the fancy聽stationery community (and especially the stationery blogger community), Moleskine can be a dirty word. I might even be guilty of writing them off, but 鈥 for me 鈥斅爄t all started with a Moleskine.”

Read more, and thanks again to Patrick and Shawn!

2 replies on “In Praise of Moleskines.”

Wonderful article Johnny. I can hold my hands up and say I too snubbed my nose at Moleskines when I discovered and started to use Rhodia, Clairefontaine, Leuchtturm and even imported Baron Fig notebooks. Similarly enough to you, I have recently come back to appreciate Moleskines again.

My go-to was the plain or dot-grid softcover, which I used every day when I started industrial design over 10 years ago. I still have a stack of them with sketches, notes, hasty undecipherable diagrams and the occasional bus ticket or receipt 鈥渂ookmark鈥?

A few months ago, by chance, a friend gave me a plain softcover as a present and having used it the last few weeks I鈥檓 really enjoying it as a daily, in the bag, sketcher again. It feels familiar and comfortable. I have my stash of other brands that I鈥檒l cycle through eventually but for now I鈥檓 getting a lot of use and a lot of enjoyment from this notebook.

Thanks for the shoutout. I got both praise and disparagement for writing that review and people still refer back to it now and then to say that the paper quality in Moleskines waffle.

I鈥檓 sure that, in order to meet demand, Moleskine uses more than one printer and bindery in Asia. The paper, binding and finishing is probably not always consistent. Add in factors like how long a book sits on the shelf and is affected by humidity, temperature shifts, UV and other environmental factors and that could also alter its durability.

Smaller producers like Baron Fig are less likely to face the same scrutiny and production issues but we are just as harsh critics, sometimes more so.

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