« What have I got in my pocket? | Main | Chicago & Merkins »

The Moleskine Obsession

There is something about these notebooks, isn't there. I found one in a Barnes and Nobles when I was looking for a journal. It's simplicity, functionality, elegance, ergonomics, and style all somehow combine into an item that is greater than the sum of its parts. I love mine. I bought thirty more in honor of Bruce Chatwin who bought 100 when he heard there might not be any more.

I find I like the sketchbook the best. It only has half the pages but the pages are thick and solid. They suck up ink eagerly and never bleed over or spread to the opposite page like the thin paged ones do. For my more permanent work I use the thick-paged ones. For daily note taking and rough drafts, I use the thin pages.


Part of me rebels against these words. Its just a notebook. Its paper. Words matter. Stories matter. The little faux-leather covered overpriced notebook does not matter. It's stuff. Its degradable material that will be dead in probably one or two hundred years max. It doesn't promote thought. It wont make you a better writer. It doesn't create life changing experiences.

But it does. Somehow, when you pick up one of these, you want to fill it. You want to travel and write about it. You want to record your thoughts so that perhaps in two to five hundred years someone else will read them and know what you were thinking. They are useful to the point of artistic beauty. I feel like Winston Smith in 1984, risking his life to record his thoughts in a world that steals them from your head with doublethink and thoughtcrime.

I love my Moleskines and you can have them when you pry them from my cold dead hands.

(Image: Mike Shea)

On Pens

Pen addiction is a horrible thing. Since my fall into Moleskines, I have also become a pen addict. I started with a couple of Rotring 600s, the ballpoint pen and the pencil set for about $30 total. I bought a Lamy fountain pen after that but didn't really care for it. A Sensa Stylist was my favorite after that for a while. Then I discovered Pilot G2 ink refills, an "archival" ink that runs about a buck a tube or less and can be picked up just about anywhere. Its great ink and I've been using it ever since.

But it only fits some pens. I picked up a Waterman Phileas, a Rotring Core, a Rotring 600 Rollerball, and a couple others that can use the G2 ink. They're not bad. My Rotring Core is probably my favorite desk pen with my Rotring 600 and my Waterman Philias as my two walk-around pens. I love the Rotring 600 pencil but that Faber Castle thing does look good. I may have to get one of those. Also on my new wish list are the Rotring Freeway rollerball or the Rotring Initial Rollerball. They both look good and I've tried out the Initial and liked it.

Rotring is my favorite pen company. They make very solid pens that are G2 compatible, very nicely designed, and not too expensive. I'll be sticking to Rotrings for a while now. You can get some great pens for well under $50. I don't see a need for a $400 monstrosity.

Like Moleskines, fancy pens won't make you a better writer. Reading more and writing more will. It doesn't matter if its a .50 cent bic and a back of an envelope. Words matter. Thoughts matter. Pens and paper are just vehicles. Still, I love my Moleskines and I love my fancy pens. How's that for doublethink.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference The Moleskine Obsession:

» The Molskinerie & Moleskine Fans from Rohdesign Weblog
Sometimes the web amazes me. Yesterday I received an nice invite from fellow blogger Armand Frasco, about the new blog... [Read More]

» The Molskinerie & Moleskine Fans from Rohdesign Weblog
Sometimes the web amazes me. Yesterday I received an nice invite from fellow blogger Armand Frasco, about the new blog... [Read More]


Marie Germaine

I don't believe there is a difference in pens - obviously
I use what I think looks nice on a moleskine page.
But I don't spend $40 dollars on a antique fountain pen for my moleksine.

Sea Benjamin

I am currently holding a giveaway contest on my site:

for a Moleskine Passion Book Journal.


GIS Bushi

These notebooks ARE addictive. I bought my first one 3 days ago and peeling the plastic wrapper off of it felt like Christmas. I dont know what it is about them but they are in and of themselves inspiring. I suppose the beauty is in their simplicity. Im obsessive about things and the Moleskine is going to be an exciting addition to all my other insanities.


HEY! Ive been reading the blogs on moleskinerie so often i feel like i need to read it everyday to read about addicted moleskine users like me!

Well im 13 years old and started my first moleskine when i was 9 with the simple sentance "I like to write"
From that very first sentance my writing has become even more complex and has filled three shelves on my bookcase. Sometimes i joke with myself and say "Hello im bob, and im a moleskine addict".

My mostly used M.skines are the squared and ruled pocket notebooks,large sized ruled notebook, and 2008 planner. The squared one being as usefull as a fully loaded swiss army knife.

For me writing some how gives a sense of accomplishment and importantness. I long for the day 30 years from know where i look at that first sentence and travel back through time,unravel mysteries, read tales of deception, and of course the ticket stub from my all time favorite movie,nacho libre.


I have been all over this site and it's links. I'm litely obsessed with the people and their Moleskine lives. It is motivating. But I do not like some of the types of people that are involved. The creative wannabees, the artsy-fartsies, the look-what-I-can-doos, etc. Yet I have so much in common with them. Some of them. So, I guess I don't like myself much either. Anyway, great site. I enjoy all the great ideas and creativity there is here. I can't believe there are so many people out there thinking of the same things as I am, like trying to explain what it is that connects us to these perfect lil' journals (I mostly utilize the ruled pocket book). It's weird. Talk about sub-culture, but hey, lets keep it that way. These are our moleskines. Thank you for your time, c'ya, have fun!

IL Postino

Borders has them. I suggest you call your nearest branch.

P.S. The diaries have red sleeves and are displayed with the calendars.

Lauren Viera

Pardon my intrusion to this site, but I am desperate to buy a 2005 Moleskine diary and cannot locate one in the city of Chicago. I'd rather buy locally than order from the site... does anyone here have any recommendations for tracking down a Moleskine retailer?

Thanks very much for any help you might offer,
Lauren Viera

Lauren Viera

Pardon my intrusion to this site, but I am desperate to buy a 2005 Moleskine diary and cannot locate one in the city of Chicago. I'd rather buy locally than order from the site... does anyone here have any recommendations for tracking down a Moleskine retailer?

Thanks very much for any help you might offer,
Lauren Viera


I have the same obsession with pens and notebooks.
Or a healthy hatred for cheap notebooks and pens that have the charm of a handful of broken plastic in the unwashed corner of a bowling alley...
Anyway, moleskine notebooks are perfect.

Brian Page

I found my first Moleskine, or should I say it found me - on a trip to paris. I wanted to find a cool journal to write about our trips. I had never heard of Moleskine, but picked one up at a stationary store in Paris. I think it's become an addiction, because I have bought several more now and the writing has become a daily event. I found this website when I was searching for more journals on the web.


I first found moleskine whehn I moved to live in Italy some years ago. I always had a love of pens. since being a little kid: so I was ineveitbaly drawn to art shops and the like: I found a shop on the Corso Vannucci in Perugia where they had the full range!: I loved the little note books, but at first only bought the very slim notebooks, having used these as notes for shopping etc. I felt that this was an unworthy use of them (you know EXACTLY what I mean!!) so I bought some of the 'proper' notebooks. I moved back to Mnachester after a split in my long term relatioship: and encouraged by a therapist I began to use these books as a journal: but then only a month ago I had a cathartic moment: I realised that I was using the norebooks to catalogue negative stuff in the main and suddenly realised that I could and should use them to record things that happen; things I've seen etc. I 'm also a photopgrapher and have takem to posting small versions of some of my work in the book,as well as newspaper cuttings etc : another thing I've always wanted to do was to draw, so that's also been included in the mix! I have to say that it has become a part of my life in only a month! No time ever seems wasted, and the pleasure of recording 'my life' is very therapeutic!


Yes, we are "obsessed" if that's not too strong a word by WHY? There are all the reasons we can come up with but ultimately moleskines are just a journal, but I have an amazing amount of diaries/journals that I've used over the years and nothing has excited me the way the moleskine has and I was excited by them before I knew others felt the same way.

OK, reading the blurb in the front, the whole aesthetic of the thing is brilliant but its as if the moleskine has an aura about it, a karma that binds us all, may be we have all been scribes in times past and somehow the moleskine has connected us all.

It has integrity, something that I am immediately attracted to and the Italians know style so well. These little books are an amazing little storehouse of many things and I am glad to have them in my life (chrikey you think I was talking about a friend!).
Glad to have found others who feel the same.
Lise xx

Paul Begley

I'm a moleskine fan as well, but I'm looking for the ideal pen.

I have a Mont Blanc I found, a gold Cross rollerball that was a graduation gift (long ago and far away). I don't really like either, so I'm fishing around for a better pen. I bought a set of Pilot G2's. Althought the 0.5mm cartridges are good at first use, I think the point gets dull and the ink blots in my diary.

Any other suggestions for archival gel pens?


That is great. I just bought one of these the other day to carry around and write my thoughts in. I am now obsessed with them and I plan to go buy as many as I can afford this weekend. I love that there are sites like this on the web so we can all get together and talk about a common bond. I also have a pen addiction. I was worried I might have been the only one. :)


I am happy to be able to write about my favorite journals and my date book. Carrying my journal to write my comments is a comfort during a busy day. It reminds me of important events, authors, works of art, creative ideas...that sometimes I need to be reminded of when the mundane threatens to take over. I remember what it felt like to take the "jump" to write in such a nice book. So, I have a calendar/diary, that I write many things besides appointments, like the weather, thoughts on the day, stesses and their remedies, etc. My journal I use for all kinds of thoughts on bigger subjects, and sketches. (Hum...guess I need to get a sketch book too.) My small red address book is lovely, charming, and just the right size and color. Everyone needs to have a real address book in case the power goes out or we run out of batteries. I love my Moleskines and looking at them makes me happy. That is enough.


I said this very thing to a friend of mine today. Moleskines are so nice that it takes a lot of effort to even begin to write into one. There is a feeling that no words we can come up with are worthy of its artistic beauty.

Of course, we have to get over this. As long as you aren't writing grocery lists in it, you can probably find a good use.

A diary being kept for one's child is probably a great use. I know I would love to have my father's words with me now.


Wonderful words. I just received my first Moleskine from a wonderful friend for Christmas.
I have been a photographer most of my life and have struggled with what to put in my treasured black book. Afraid nothing would be good enough.
After many days the little book was blank. Then...I had to jump in and start documenting my photo exploits. Time, weather, location and little sketches of important features of what I photograph. My thoughts as I see the area are in the book. Now I can look back and recall things I might have forgotten.
Pens....well I have a nice collection and LOVE a nice writing instrument. Life is to short to use a cheap pen! I have a nice pen with me everywhere I go.


You are correct. I tell my friends sometimes that its a rare thing to belong to such an exclusive club for an investment of only $10. Compared to painting, golf, photography, and other arts, picking up a couple of $10 Moleskines and perhaps a $20 fancy pen is a lot cheaper than a lot of other hobbies.

Along with my case of Moleskine sketch books and plain notebooks I picked up an address book and a day planner. All together it was still significantly cheaper than a palm pilot and will last a lot longer.

Niklas Dahlin

I don't think there's any conflict between caring for writing materials and writing more, better, good, for fun. Behold the photographer, struggling in his darkroom, surrounded by 10000 dollars worth of equipment... and that's for just the basics.
Compared to, say, golf or classic cars it's really not possible to over-care for tiny notebooks and sweet, sweet pens. :)
Which is neat, because I have boxloads.
Hats off to this blog and its maker.

The comments to this entry are closed.