Thursday, April 19, 2007



I've got about a hundred pages to go in my current Moleskine notebook, and have started worrying about when I need to pick up another. Last year I blew a gift certificate Allison got at work on a stack of new Moleskines at Book People (I always use 3.5 x 5.5 "pocket ruled notebook" myself), so I never really had to worry about where the next one was coming from, since they were stacked up on top of the working shelves in my office. I started the last one early in March, though, and have already filled it almost halfway, so unless my speed of notetaking changes in the next little while, I'll probably be needing a new one by May or June (and probably early since I'll be taking a trip in early May, and always take more notes on flights or waiting in coffee shops than I do at home). But it seems like there's got to be a better way of getting them than just buying them from the impulse-buy racks of bookstores. Looking online, though, I'm not finding any deals that are tremendously better. Even if I buy a case of them from this joint I only end up saving a couple of bucks, and none of the other online vendors' bulk deals are much better, if at all. Why is it with every other consumable on the market there's always some guy out to undercut the competition and sell at only a few points above wholesale, somewhere online, but with Moleskines everyone sells pretty much exactly at the manufacturer's suggested retail price? Is it because there's such a thing as a "Moleskine retailers", and undercutting the competition would put them in dutch with the supplier? Who knows?

In searching, though, I found this site of Moleskine hacks, some of which are really clever. (And clearly, lots of people take their Moleskines very seriously.) Which reminds me that I really need to get about labelling the spines of my notebooks, which is long-overdue. Last year Sarah Monette wrote a bit about her ritual when finishing a Moleskine, which includes labelling the spine and numbering the pages, which immediately struck me as a genius idea. When I was working on End of the Century, I wasted hours digging through a year's worth of notebooks hunting for various bits and pieces, during which the thought of some sort of index to the notebooks seemed a very appealing notion.

I'm also reminded of Jim Woodring's pop-up Moleskines, which have been talked about a bit online in the last few days.

Anybody else addicted to their Moleskine? Or have brand loyalty to some other flavor of notebook?

(And in case there was anyone wondering, I only use my Uni-ball Vision Elite, bold and black, to write in my notebooks. As I was explaining to Stephen Jones in Toronto a few weeks ago, the Vision Elite is the Cadillac of disposable ballpoints, and I'm armwrestle anyone who says differently.)

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