8 years of Moleskine Notebooks. Ruled.
The Moleskine-style journal has been used by writers and thinkers and creative-types for a couple hundred years, and while the Italian company from which it now gets it’s popular name is relatively new, notebooks like this have been around for ages, and used by artists like Wilde, Hemingway, Van Gogh, Picasso, and Matisse, if the Moleskine publicity is to be believed. Regardless, these classic little books with the elastic closure and the pocket in the back, have been my constant companions for years, losing only one to the sands of the Sahara in Tunisia when a reprobate camel tossed me from my mount.I’ve tried using other brands of the same style notebooks, but the paper in the Moleskine books seems to hold ink better and has a nicer texture than others.
These books have checklists (with little boxes for checking), ideas (little light-bulbs), simple drawings, phone numbers, names of restaurants, notes on foreign languages, reminders, quotes, website URLs, and personal thoughts ranging from the absurd to the (self-assessed) profound. By the time I retire them the spines are splitting and the back pocket is full of business cards and tickets stubs, old boarding passes, and errant passport/visa photos. The covers have the same teeth marks, from putting into my mouth while I search for my pen. And while each one starts the same as every other of the hundreds of thousands of Moleskine notebooks made each year, by the time they are filled they are each a thing of beauty, full of stories.
I carry these literally everywhere I go. My current notebook is covered with a removable leather cover I had made in Venice two years ago by a woman we simply refer to in hushed tones as “the leather lady.” To be fair, she was more beautiful than her handiwork was good, but a little crazy-glue now and then keeps the cover in one piece, journal after journal. The pen is a Mont Blanc, itself a thing of beauty, that I bought myself to celebrate the release of my third book, Vision & Voice, and an admission that maybe I was a writer after-all and not just the imposter I felt like for so long.