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Moleskine Notebooks

By Jesse Kornbluth
Published: Oct 20, 2015
Category: Gifts and Gadgets

Woody Allen and Marshall Brickman used to write movies together. Maybe you know them: “Sleeper,” “Annie Hall,” “Manhattan.” I asked Brickman how they created characters and stories. He said that he and Woody took long walks in the park. I asked: Who held the pen? He said: “No one. You don’t forget the good stuff.”

I’m writing a new book. Well, that’s what I say. The truth is, I’m taking notes for a new book. And, sometimes, I forget the good stuff. So in a crowd punching out texts on smartphones, you’ll have no problem spotting me. I’m the guy who reaches into his back pocket, removes a small black slab, produces a pen and starts — no, it can’t be — writing.

How unbelievably chic.

In that crowd of thumbsters, I may be the only evangelist for Moleskine notebooks, but I feel we’re moving toward a tipping point — I see more people, some of them astonishingly young, sporting Moleskines. So if you need to be one of the Cool Kids, move fast.

There are fads built on nothing. Moleskines are the real thing. The leather-like cover takes more wear than you’ll ever give it. The elastic band is useful both to keep the notebook closed and to mark your place. There’s an inner pocket to hold business cards, receipts and small photographs. The spine is sewn, not glued, so the cover lies flat when it’s opened. The paper is acid-free.

What more do you want from a notebook?

Oh. A story. Of course. You want to hear that these are the same notebooks favored by van Gogh, Picasso, Hemingway and Bruce Chatwin. There are those who make these claims. Well, here’s Francesco Franceschi, head of marketing department of the company that makes Moleskines: "It’s an exaggeration. It’s marketing, not science. It’s not the absolute truth.”

The truth is simpler. French bookbinders produced these notebooks until 1986. When they phased them out, loyalists bought hundreds. In 1998, an Italian company named Modo e Modo revived the notebooks — and expanded its offerings to include day planners, sketchbooks and city guides.

It would be pretty to think that Hemingway made notes for “The Sun Also Rises” in a Moleskine as he drank in Paris cafes. But that’s too retro for me. I’m more interested in the new generation of writers whose Moleskines will come to be exhibited in university libraries. And I’m writing as legibly as I can in the hope that I’ll be one of them.

To buy a Moleskine Ruled Notebook Pocket from, click here.

To buy a Moleskine Small Ruled Notebook from, click here.

To buy a Moleskine Ruled Notebook Large from, click here.

To buy a Moleskine Small Memo Pockets from, click here.

To buy a Moleskine Volant Notebook Ruled, Black Xsmall: Set of 2 from, click here.

To buy a Moleskine Classic Red Notebook, Ruled Large from, click here.

To buy a Moleskine Weekly Planner/Journal from, click here.

To buy a Moleskine Watercolor Notebook from, click here.