HandBook vs. Moleskine

I did my own comparison of a few sketchbooks including the HandBook and Moleskine. I use both brands regularly and like them both very much, for different reasons. But here’s a review from someone who HATES the HandBook!

I’d had some issues with coloring the pages, since they don’t lie as flat as the Moleskine pages and so are hard to color with ink pads–they kind of pucker at the stitching. But I muddled through that one and bought some smaller raised felt pads at Stamp Antonio, so I figured I could deal with that. But then. Then! When I stamped letters, I noticed they feathered. Just ever so slightly, but y’all know me: I hated it.
And then. Then! The pages started sucking the ink out of my pens. The pens–Pigma Microns–started skipping because the pages are just too absorbent. And a little rough. Grrrrrr.

Oh well– everyone has different needs for notebooks!
But here’s my favorite part of the review:

So here I am, 4 days into a brand new journal, all the pages carefully colored, etc., etc., etc. And I HATE it. Whereas (whereas!) I loved the Moleskine in September and couldn’t wait to sit down and play in it every chance I got, I find myself avoiding this one like an new boyfriend you’ve discovered has bad breath and shoulder hair, plus really bad taste in music. It’s just not going to work out, and I don’t know how to break up (a problem I never had with actual boyfriends). Plus I don’t want to break up before the end of the month–I mean, really: we’ve already made plans and bought tickets. But I don’t know if I can stand the pain for 26 more days–I’m not good at masochism. Maybe it’ll be The Substitute: you know, the one you call on for a date to your niece’s Bat Mitzvah or the neighbor’s Tupperware party, where you wouldn’t want to take your Real Boyfriend, lest he run screaming down the street. I could paste in some photos, make some lists, scribble a little and call it done.
We’ll see.

Have you ever started a new notebook that didn’t work out? Did you dump it? Or did you stick with it for the sake of the children?!?

4 thoughts on “HandBook vs. Moleskine”

  1. Yes. The Canteo Journal. It’s a nice enough journal, I just couldn’t stand writing in it. Paper too thick, ruling too wide…. I was about 3/4 through it at the end of the year, 12/31, which also happened to be my 40th birthday. I called it quits at midnight and started a blank Pen & Ink sketchbook in it’s place. It’s working well – I mean at least I want to write in it.

  2. That’s the kind of bind (lol) I’m in now. I went from nicer composition books for daily tasks and school notes (PhD candidate) to those in addition to the smaller sketchbooks from Borders. I loved the pages and size of the book, but because it was so thick and rigid, it didn’t fit well in my purses or backpacks.

    So I bought a 3pack of the Moleskine cahiers (always blank–don’t do ruling in my poetry notebooks), but the pages don’t agree with my favorite pens–uniball jetstream bold the flow is disrupted by the flow of the paper. It’s too smooth :/ and the covers are too delicate/bendy. The cardboard’s too flimsy.

    I’m only 8 pages or so in and I still have 2 more books, but I’m sure I won’t be able to use them for my carry everywhere poetry books.

    I don’t want to get bored with something too thick, but can’t handle this thin stuff. So I’m definitely on the lookout for more agreeable journals. I may try one of the Moleskines with the firmer cover and elastic closure.

    p.s. This is my first time here. Glad to know there are other paper and ink junkies out there too.

  3. I only buy the watercolor paper handbook. It’s the best sketchbook I’ve ever used… I’m 42 and I’ve used many brands. I wish i could buy that same paper in large sheets because it’s so versatile… i’ve used it with amazing results… with ball point pen, inks, watercolor, art pens, etc…

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