In a recent post Kidfos mentioned how much he likes his new Moleskine notebook. He bought it based on a recommendation from Temper (aka Shortstuff) who became a fan after I sent her one a while back. Bubbles is also a fan of these awesome notebooks, but I’m not sure if she’s a link in the chain of who told who or if she was introduced by an outside party. It’s all a bit like that commercial from back in the 80s where Heather Locklear told two friends about Faberge Organics Shampoo and they told two friends and they told two friends and so on and so on and so on …
According to the little multi-fold pamphlet slipped into the accordion pocket inside the back cover, these legendary notebooks have been “used by European artists and thinkers for the past two centuries, from Van Gogh to Picasso, from Ernest Hemingway to Bruce Chatwin. This trusty, pocket-size travel companion held sketches, notes, stories and ideas before they were turned into famous images or pages of beloved books.”
Some people can pick up whatever notebook, diary or memo pad is handy and happily pour out their thoughts or sketch out an idea for their next great project or work of art. I am not one of them. I might spend hours at various bookstores perusing their selection for the perfect journal only to find when I started using it that it doesn’t lay flat enough when open making the right-hand pages uncomfortable to write on or that most inks bled through because the paper is cheap and porous. The defect or flaw isn’t always something I can easily identify. Like a date who’s attractive and personable enough but whom you’re just not excited about seeing again, the chemistry just isn’t there.
My attraction to the Moleskine was instant and powerful. The minute I held one I knew I’d let it fuck me on the first date. I love everything about these notebooks, from the way they feel in my hands – comfortable, like a well-balanced hand tool – to the way my pen glides over the smooth, satiny pages. The size is perfect for tossing into my backpack and it weighs enough to give it solid, quality feel but not so much that it’s a chore to tote around. It doesn’t have so many pages that the idea of filling one up is overwhelming nor so few that you’re always buying new ones. The line spacing on the perfect number of pages is tight, but not cramped … and not that wide-ruled crap that makes me feel like I need the big, loopy handwriting of a 12 year old girl fill all the space I’m given.
But lest you think me shallow, my love for Moleskines goes beyond the physical (although, like Kidfos said – and I’m paraphrasing here – they are some sexy-ass muthafukken notebooks). You can feel their rich history and a sense of connection to that past. You’re not just writing in a notebook, you’re writing in the same notebook that Hemingway preferred. Fucking Hemingway, man!! How awesome is that?
I also write on a laptop. I’m doing it right now. But if I’m sitting in a Starbucks and pull out my Moleskine to jot down a few deep thoughts or brilliant ideas, I can’t help feeling superior to, and pity for, all the poor schmoes around me pecking away on their laptops. Obviously they are unaware that the preferred tool of real writers like Ernie H. and me (and Kidfos, Temper and Bubbles, of course) comes with neither a power-cord nor the ability to erase, lose or corrupt everything you just spent the last nineteen hours working on. Your work will always be safe and protected between the elastic-banded covers of your reliable and much loved Moleskine.
I think writers fall into two major types: 1) those who will immediately run out to find and fondle a Moleskine notebook after reading this, and 2) those for whom it’s strictly about what they write and not where they write it. Which type are you?
Papa was a rolling stone
P.S. Kidfos also spoke very highly of the Sharpie fine-point marker so I had to give it a try. I’m happy to say I concur with his findings, it is one damn fine writing implement. I don’t know you well Kidfos (and by ‘well’ I mean ‘at all’), but I know you love at least three of the same things I do: the world’s most perfect notebook, the amazing pen that never bleeds through a page and Miss Shorty McShortpants. Obviously you’re a man of extraordinary intelligence and exquisite taste. I salute you, sir!