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Moleskines

Moleskines are my very favourite notebook - and as a consequence moleskinerie and notebookism are two of my favourite websites because they give me so many different ideas and much inspiration.
What is it that I like about my Moleskines so much? I think that one of the first things that drew me to them is their history - the Moleskine legend. Inside every notebook you get a little leaflet telling you about the history of Moleskines:

Moleskine is the legendary notebook, used by European artists and thinkers for the past two centuries, from Van Gogh to Picasso, from Ernest Hemingway to Bruce Chatwin.
Originally produced by small French bookbinders who supplied the Parisian stationery shops frequented by the international avant-garde, by the end of the twentieth century the Moleskine notebook was no longer available. In 1986, the last manufacturer of Moleskine, a family operation in Tours, closed its shutters forever.
“Le vrai Moleskine n’est plus,” were the lapidary words of the owner of the stationery shop in Rue de l’Ancienne Com├ędie where Chatwin stocked up on the notebooks. The English writer had ordered a hundred of them before leaving for Australia: he bought up all the Moleskine that he could find, but they were not enough.
In 1998, a small Milanese publisher brought Moleskine back again. As the self effacing keeper of an extraordinary tradition, Moleskine once again began to travel the globe. To capture reality on the move, pin down details, impress upon paper unique aspects of experience: Moleskine is a reservoir of ideas and feelings, a battery that stores discoveries and perceptions, and whose energy can be tapped over time. . The legendary black notebook is once again being passed from one pocket to the next; with its various different page styles it accompanies the creative professions and the imagination of our time. The adventure of Moleskine continues, and its still-blank pages will tell the rest.

Now I quite readily accept that much of this is marketing and hype. I agree that current Moleskines may be a million worlds apart from those that Van Gogh and Hemingway used. However, somehow, somewhere, this whole legend inspires me. It makes me want to write, it makes me want to draw. It makes me want to be part of that tradition. The whole point of me keeping a notebook is to allow myself some outlet for my creativity, and if the notebook itself inspires me to be creative, then that has surely got to be a good thing, right? Additionally, seeing what other people have done with their Moleskines then inspires me to do cool things in mine. It's not just Moleskine's famous users who influence how I use mine, but the millions of everyday users who love their little black notebooks just as much as me.
I'm getting quite a stash of them now. I carry a pocket plain around with me everywhere - it has replaced all of the post it notes and bits of paper that I would otherwise jot down information on. And I also have drawn out a calendar inside it - very useful, and use it if I have a sudden attack of creativity! I have a large ruled Moleskine which I use very much as a diary, then a large plain which I use as an art journal. My large squared is for drafts of poems, stories and other writings. My Paris city Moleskine was invaluable whilst in Paris over the summer (it even earned itself its own little identity and the nickname Moley). I haven't used my London one yet, nor the extra large cahiers and soft notebooks. Oh and I have an address book, which is slowly filling up too.
Yes it's an expensive "hobby" but the notebooks are lovely - I like the minimalist black appearance, the creamy yellow pages with their rounded corners, and the elastic and the pocket at the back are very useful. I even love the fact that there is a section where you can fill in a "Reward" if your Moleskine is lost and found. I think the things that you can't put money on though are class and creative inspiration. That's why I love my Moleskines!

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