Moleskine Monday: More on City Notebooks

In a comment to my recent post about Moleskine City Notebooks, someone asked for more photos of what’s inside. Here’s a few, plus a shot of my collection:


moleskinecity1 moleskinecity2 moleskinecity3 moleskinecity4 moleskinecity5

School Supplies Around the World

An interesting article about the different types of school supplies typically used by students in various countries, including, of course, a few notebooks. In Norway, this “kladblok” is typical:

And here are some notebooks used in a French school:

Read more at School supplies used by students around the world.

Moleskine Monday: My Collection of City Notebooks

I’ve always been a fan of Moleskine’s City Notebooks. After noticing that they seemed to have scaled back their list of cities quite a bit (Moleskine Monday: Did the World Just Get Smaller?), I’ve been snapping up other cities wherever I can, often at good discounts off the original list price. Here’s my collection thus far, as well as some details about how they fit into my travel plans:

Have Visited Have Visited More Than Once Used Moleskine City Book Intend to Visit in Next 12 months
Amsterdam x
Boston x x x
Chicago x x
Dublin x
Florence x
Frankfurt x x
Hong Kong
Istanbul x x
Lisbon x x
London x x x x
Los Angeles x x
Montreal x x
NYC (home) x x  x
Paris x x x
Philadelphia x x
San Francisco x x
Toronto x x
Venice x
Wash DC x x x

As you can see, my desire for these notebooks is not entirely practical–I’d like to say I’m going to visit all of these cities in the next few years, but it’s not likely to happen. (There are a few cities on this list that I don’t have a strong desire to visit, but I love to travel and can’t think of too many places that I wouldn’t go to if I had the chance! Except maybe Russia, given recent events.) I’ll be lucky to hit maybe 3 or 4 more new cities beyond my plans to go to Paris and Amsterdam this fall.  I think the City Notebooks are most useful when you visit a place regularly and want to keep track of favorite shops, restaurants and destinations there. I used to visit London regularly for work, but was no longer doing so when I first bought my London notebook. Now I may be going there more often again, so I’m glad I’ll be able to use my notebook more to record everything I love about this wonderful city. Other than that, though I have family in the Boston and DC areas, I don’t use the notebooks when I visit there, mainly because I don’t spend much time in the city itself. Paris will be my next repeat visit with a City Notebook.

My strategy when using these is to keep them handy while planning the trip, and jot down ideas from newspaper and magazine articles, advice from friends, and top destinations from travel guides or websites. I have found myself planning itineraries and using the translucent sheets to map out where I plan to walk. I love being able to discreetly refer to a map in a little black book rather than being an obvious tourist flashing a guide book. I’ve found that the maps have most of the info I need, but they are a few years out of date– most old European cities probably don’t have too many changes in their street maps, but transit options may be slightly different.

I know City Notebooks also exist for Zurich, Moscow and St. Petersburg, but beyond that, I’m not sure if there are any others I’m missing in my collection. Does anyone know?

Notebook Addict of the Week: Emadam

This week, we have someone who is not just addicted to notebooks, but addicted to making notebooks!

“i follow your page for some years now and finally managed it to make some
photos of my notebook collection. well it´s just a part of my collection and
it´s a mixture of used and new notebooks but: they are all made by myself. :)

by now i have so many notebooks that i started a little shop to sell some of them.

i hope you like the photos!

greetings from germany,



Many of these beautiful notebooks are for sale in her Etsy shop. Thanks for sharing your addiction, Emadam!

Sketchbooks and Studios

An interesting look at assorted artists’ sketchbooks, from a website about studio visits with West Coast artists:

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“Now, when Nikki and I visit artists in their studios I find myself curious, even prying about what’s tucked away in the pages of their sketchbooks. Visiting someone’s studio is already permission to enter into a private space and an artist’s sketchbook feels like a room within a room, it’s where the secrets are, the strategies, failures, future schemes and sometimes self-reflection.”


Read and see more at Sketchbook Round-up | In The Make | Studio visits with West Coast artists.

Marie Curie’s Radioactive Notebook

Here’s a beautiful notebook that I’d rather not see up close:


“Marie Curie made some of the most significant contributions to science in the 20th century. And as most people already know, she did so at a great cost to her own health. What most people probably don’t know, however, is that the radiation levels she was exposed to were so powerful that her notebooks must now be kept in lead-lined boxes.

It’s true. And it’s not just Curie’s manuscripts that are too dangerous to touch, either. If you visit the Pierre and Marie Curie collection at the Bibliotheque Nationale in France, many of her personal possessions—from her furniture to her cookbooks—require protective clothing to be safely handled. You’ll also have to sign a liability waiver, just in case.”

Read more at Marie Curie’s century-old radioactive notebook still requires lead box.

Mixed Media in a Sketchbook

An impressive fully painted and collaged notebook page by German artist Anja Zaharanski– beautiful!

Via Sketchbook Sneak: Anka’s Atmospheric Mixed Media Drawings | Ape on the Moon: Contemporary Illustration.

Notebook Addict of the Week: Melissa

Melissa emailed these photos of her collection and writes,

“I have been a fan of your notebook web site for quite sometime now.
It is really good to know I am not alone in my obsession!!
Heres a couple of photos of my collection. I do have a few. I have got to
to stop buying them!!”



I think she’s allowed to buy some more if she wants, don’t you?
Thanks for sharing your addiction, Melissa!

Fun Designs from Letternote

Letternote is a stationery company based in India. They have some very fun and colorful notebook designs, as well as more understated classic designs. Here’s a few that struck my fancy:

joy-f radio-f_1blue_1

A Brief History of the Journal

An interesting post about the history of journaling from Rossi 1931‘s Italian Stationery Blog, accompanied by a photo of one of their beautiful notebooks:

Journaling is not a modern phenomenon; there are recordings traced back to 55AD China. During the Renaissance period, the Western world began journaling regularly and the diary, began to have some literary value as the importance of the individual began to come to the fore. Ladies of the court in tenth century Japan used pillow books to record their dreams and thoughts with images and poetry. Throughout history, travel logs were also used as journals in both the Eastern and Western worlds. They were used to record details of places, people, navigational insights, botanical and other information. Since then it has often been used by the historian, not only as a supply of factual information, but as a picture of the daily life and personality of its writer.

Read more at A Brief History of the Journal.

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