Are you Mental for Moleskines?

After the great response to my last post, in which I wondered whether you secretly have 'pens envy', the logical next step was to ask if your were mental for moleskines (or should that be 'Parchment-al for Moleskines'?)

For the uninitiated, a Moleskine is not made from the skin of a mole. It is, simply, a delicious notebook with a splendid history.

Of course, there are many other beautiful notebooks. I'm curious to know which one you use, or lust after.
  • Have you ever had a really special notebook, or known someone who did? What was it like, and why did you love it?
  • Is there a notebook after which you yearn? Describe it.
  • Are you quite happy with a scrap of old paper, or do you think that a special notebook helps you to write?
Your comment may even end up published on Groupon's blog!

Furnish my blog with your wisdom,

Best wishes,


Anonymous said...

I have a notebook problem, I'll admit to it. I have piles of them, each one more pretty, more beautiful, more special than the next. The trouble is, I never feel I have anything special enough to say with which to sully the pristine pages. The notebooks I end up using are cheap ones from Tesco while my Moleskins, Paper Blanks and hand-crafted ones gather dust on a shelf. I need my head read.

Rebecca Woodhead said...

Ooh. I recognise that problem. Dan Holloway said something similar in the last post. I find that it helps if you just dive in. I have the most beautiful vintage-style notebook, with butterflies on it. It could easily have stayed on the shelf, looking pretty, but I dived into it. Now it is the first place I put my thoughts for stories. I love it even more now.

Pretty ladies are dull until their pages are leafed through a bit. The same is true of notebooks. Be brave. :)

Anonymous said...

I love notebooks. Actually, I love the potential of notebooks. An unused notebook is like a delicious promise, or a dreamed of holiday, or a possible new romance.

The problem is, once used, the notebook loses its charm - just like promises, holidays and (possibly) new romances.

Rebecca Woodhead said...

*Gasp*! I love my well-used notebooks. I think you've hit on something, though. If you start to use a notebook, without purpose, it can lose its sparkle. You need a purpose for it, and you need to use it often. Then it becomes a well-worn, and well-trusted, friend.


I, like I suspect many writers, have a dreadful weakness for pens, paper and pretty notebooks. My poor accountant has many Paper Chase receipts to deal with each year as a result.

The spoils of my sprees lie stacked beneath my desk, stealing leg room and the teetering piles from time to time fall prey to gravity and bury my toes. I do use the books, but my addiction is ahead of my pen so there are piles of pristine pages of possibility awaiting words.

I have been given many lovely notebooks from friends how know of my love of notebooks, but many of these gifts are too lovely in their virgin form to risk sullying with crossings out and half developed ideas.

The ones that are most likely to be used are the more workaday ones - some are allocated to certain freelance clients, others to short story jottings and others to comedy ideas. One lies next to my pillow for those late night ideas. And, on occasion all are shunned if a random scrap of paper is closer to hand.

My flat is a fire hazard, my desk overflowing with pads, pens and papers, but a paper free desk is, to me, a soulless space.

Elpi said...

My hubby bought me a Moleskine a few years ago and I've never looked back. I probably fill one every quarter and needless to say it comes everywhere with me.

I find scribbling is kind of therapeutic but also intensely creative. It doesn't matter whether I write the first line of a story, the description of a character or jot down random thoughts. The more I write in notebooks, the more I want to write.

And there's more. Every so often, I sit down with a lovely cup of coffee and go through old notebooks. In fact, I did this yesterday. I am amazed that a story that I though had no legs or a character that seemed flat at the time can just come to life. This has turned out to be the best tip I've had on writing, that ideas do tend to brew in our subconscious minds to reveal their true colours.

Rebecca Woodhead said...

Jane. I agree. There must be a certain amount of creative clutter! You sound like me. I spent a fortune on stationery when I was a child, so I could write to my many pen pals. Used to choose each page individually. I miss having pen pals so much that I set up so I can get postcards again! I was so excited when I got a postcard from a follower in Germany last week.

Notebooks, and stationery are both so wonderful. Love them.

Rebecca Woodhead said...

Staggeringly good advice, Elpi. I've found that with my butterfly book. It has an elastic strap over it, that holds all kinds of extra bits of paper for me. The ideas I find in there amaze me. It is astonishing how easily you forget these things. Notebooks are crucial.

Marisa Birns said...

Oh, I do love my moleskines! Just bought one that is a perfect size for my bag when I go out. It's a gorgeous red. There was a time when I didn't want to write in them until I had interesting stuff, but now I don't worry about it.

Next thing I need is a fountain pen. I attended Catholic School and that's the writing implements we used. But they're rather expensive and the really cheaper ones (usually disposables) leak too much. And the ink should be black :)

Rebecca Woodhead said...

Marisa. Thanks for the comment. You might want to check out the last post - on fountain pens - for ideas. I went to a convent too. You might find Parker fits the bill. Not too expensive, and the nibs are pretty robust. If you're feeling a bit more swish, try Waterman. I love them!

Rebecca Woodhead said...

Putting together the post on this for Groupon now. I want to submit it tomorrow or Friday (preferably tomorrow), so if you want to stand a chance of your name - and link - being published there, leave a comment, quick!

patti bright said...

See I'm showing my ignorance here. I didn't know what a moleskine was (yes, go ahead have a laugh) in fact, at first, I thought you said 'mole skins' and I thought okay, that's a little weird. But then good, old Wikipedia enlightened me. Being a lowly paid cleaner I buy all my note books from Wilkinsons, that amazingly cheap shop where people like me shop. They sell note books with cupcakes on them (I love cupcakes) and butterflies for just a couple of pounds. I have loads. All with big elastic bands on the covers, stuffed with notes. Those cheapo notebooks have helped me get published quite a few times. But now I want a moleskine to see what all the fuss is about. Are they really that amazing???

Katie.M.John said...

Hello everybody, my name's Katie and I'm a motebookaddict.
Thank goodness I have, at last, found people who share my nerdish, fetish for notebooks!
I have several that take it in turns to travel around with me, even to the most mundane of places (which have to be carried around in pairs, lest they should get lonely.)
They have to be hardbacked, cotton threaded, cream 80g paper; preferably with a relief pattern on the front, a back folder, no larger than A5 and have a ribbon - see what I mean!
If the house was burning it would be child, notebooks, laptop, husband and a pair of pyjama's in that order. I can't describe to you the importance of these beautiful little, secret places, filled with scrawls and doodles.
Whilst I was writing 'The Forest of Adventures' on maternity leave / part time, my daughter thought it often fun to add to my note books and we have intermitent hand and foot outlines randomly located and as she learnt to weild a pen, wonderful lines of toddler poetry- that only make sense to the creater!
They are the outpourings of my brain and when I open them, it gives me hope and inspiration.
The thing is, once you've made the ridiculous purchase of an overpriced $20 notebook, there's little going back - even though it might mean eating beans on toast for the rest of the month. It's the one luxury besides perfume that I have. No shoes, no handbags - notebooks everytime!

Rebecca Woodhead said...

Such a shame that some of you haven't given your full name, or left a link where I can find it (no Blogger profile, no URL, etc) so there's no way you can be published on Groupon. :(

Next time, give me your full name (even if it's just in your sign-in. Don't post anonymously) or I can't possibly get you published either online or in print. Thanks.

Katie.M.John said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ashley Harnett said...

For years I sought the perfect notebook, lusting after period splendour and modernist functionality I failed entirely in my self-assigned task to acquire such a piece of stationery. Until, quite by accident, I stumbled across Moleskine, I think I bought my first in a branch of Waterstone's (as it happens). For the last four years I have exclusively cast my scribbles only on the pages of Black Moleskine notebooks, with Green ink from my Waterman ink-pen. It is easy for people to scoff at the romanticism one attaches to a notebook but for all those initiated into the mindset of the jotter the perfect page is the perfect place to pen the preliminary ponderings of your masterpiece. (Or perhaps I'm being altogether too grand).

Katie.M.John said...

I'm one of the guilty party. Katie M John. Find me at or
Katie :-)

Rebecca Woodhead said...

Katie - No, you were fine. Your name linked through to your profile, website etc. :)

patti bright said...

Okay, well as I've just seen your comment on FB about not leaving our names. I'm the 'cleaner' who buys her notepads from Wilkinsons and didn't know what a moleskines was ha! ha! And if you really want to know - my blog is: talesfromacleaningcupboard

I'm on twitter as flamelily53 (you re-tweeted me -- twice! My claim to fame. Well that and touching Jared Leto as he ran by me at a 30 Seconds to Mars gig!)

So now you know!

Mel H said...

Moleskines all the way. Notebook and diary. Love love LOVE.

Thanks, Melanie

Mel H said...

Sorry Melanie Hammond (veganmel on twitter)

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love notebooks of all kinds, especially the Oxford ones as the paper is so lovely to write on. I love to jot down random thoughts, snippets of overheard conversation, story ideas, character traits... the list goes on and on... But now I have gone and ordered myself a Moleskine as I have never had one before, and reading all these comments I feel as if I'm missing out!

Rebecca Woodhead said...

Patti. Your name is there when you post. I'm talking about people who didn't hyperlink their name when they commented. Anyone who clicks your name can access all this info. The only time there is a problem is when someone comments and does so in an unregistered way. I've just disabled that option, so there shouldn't be a problem any more, and there never was a problem for you. :)

Rebecca Woodhead said...

Thanks for the comments, everyone. Some of you may see your names published on Groupon on Monday. This is the link to check: Word Nerd Monday

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