Ode to the Moleskine

by Chelle


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Seattle

Why do I pay the additonal 12-15 dollars for a moleskine? There's something beautiful about their story. Of course it's a marketing scheme! I'm sure Hemmingway spent more time scribbling on scraps or typing away on an old Royal than waxing elloquent in the lovely lined pages- but, I prefer to imagine the good old chap sitting in a café brainstorming in his tattered moleskine. Clearly, I love that it was invented in France and has a history!  So Moleskines it it. Here is the Moleskine story:

It all started many years ago, with a pocket-sized black object, the product of a great tradition. The Moleskine notebook is, in fact, the heir and successor to the legendary notebook used by artists and thinkers over the past two centuries: among them Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, and  Ernest Hemingway. A simple black rectangle with rounded corners, an elastic page-holder, and an internal expandable pocket: a nameless object with a spare perfection all its own, produced for over a century by a small French bookbinder that supplied the stationery shops of Paris, where the artistic and literary avant-gardes of the world browsed and bought them. A trusted and handy travel companion, the notebook held invaluable sketches, notes, stories, and ideas that would one day become famous paintings or the pages of beloved books.

- The Legendary Notebook

I've been keeping a journal since I was twelve (I currently have 33 full notebooks), mainly becuase I process life by writing it down. I've found that if I don't like a notebook I wont write and life tends to get fairly frazzeled. So I look at a moleskine as an invesment and a work of art. I only use this pen to write and try to write neatly so that the pages look lovely. I can generally tell what kind of day it was based on the handwriting.

It's funny to go back and to read and see how I've changed, grown, learned or how I haven't. It's also nice to enjoy memories. B and I carried our notebooks all over France. I don't think I'd started using moleskines at that point, but these days they're all I use. My favorite is the simple black hard cover with lines.

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Chicago

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I also started journalling at a young age (my aunt gave me a little girly "diary" for my eleventh birthday and I kept that faithfully every single day). It was mostly about what I ate and what I did that day with my imaginary friends Rose and Judith. I would write them letters and lower them out of my fourth story window into the alley below. I really was not as lonely as this makes me sound! Since then, my journals have gotten classier. My style of journalling has also changed drastically since I first started, but I almost always have a journal. I wrote about my current style here (pardon our old blog...it's not as beautiful).

Anyways, about Moleskine. I got my first Moleskine the year Chelle and I spent in Aix-En-Provence way back in 2008. My go-to is the black hardcover with squares, which you can find here.

Anyways, since I've got Europe on my mind (more on that tomorrow!!!), I was flipping through this particular journal and was amazed at how prolifically I wrote in it! My current journals are in the thinner kraft paper squared Moleskines, mainly because they are lighter and more affordable, but there is something about the classic that can't be found anywhere else. I love flipping through an old journal and finding all the little treasure, like random people met at hostels' email addresses, flowers, ticket stubs, sugar wrappers, etc. tucked inside and the exotic locations at the head of each entry!

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And then I found this gem...

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I cracked up when I found this... I guess we're off the hook for this blood oath! Still feel like I meant this pact more than you did... granted knowing my cuticle biting habits I'm sure the blood was not spilt solely for the oath.