Notebook Addict of the Week: Amanda

This week’s addict emailed me lots of photos of her notebooks, with the comments below:

The photos I have show 32 of my absolute favorites, minus the drawers I have dedicated to course notebooks and other larger ones.The titles should be fairly exclamatory regarding what’s in each image.  In the sketchbooks, there are two graph paperchase that I got on clearance for about $3/each.  In the misc, there are three moleskines, two large and one of  my two pockets, all sketchbooks.  Missing is my blank moleskine notebook, and another moleskine sketchbook that I gave to a friend’s sister to encourage her to draw more.

Click on the thumbnails below for the full view, with some bonus shots of some of Amanda’s drawings!

Thanks for sharing your collection!



Reader Questions

It’s time yet again to crowdsource some of the “help me find this notebook” pleas I get, as well as some other tidbits from the mailbag:

Zachary wonders “is it wrong that I saw the movie Thor over the weekend and left realizing I really wanted to find out what type of notebook Natalie Portman’s character was using?”

Rebecca is “hoping you may be able to help me with a search for grandluxe’s Urban Jello notepad? I bought this pad on holiday in Kinokuniya in Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur, and then realized it’s the perfect notepad…. And I really want to buy several but can’t find any stockist anywhere! The notepad is A4 size, spiral bound with a clear plastic spiral rather than wire, and the paper is lined on one side and blank on the other which is perfect as I often have to draw pictures and take notes at the same time. Do you have any ideas on how to get hold of them? I’m based in the UK but happy to pay shipping.” Has anyone seen these anywhere?

Dave sends a link to an interesting leather-bound journal.

Andres shares his Moleskine art on his blog.

Mo points out a link to a book called “I Draw Cars,” which has a cool moleskine-ish look to it, and raised a ton of money on Kickstarter!

Laiameg shares a link to her handmade notebooks.

 And John shared a link to this beautiful map in a notebook:

“On July 15, 1806, Zebulon Pike began his expedition to expore the
southwest region of the Louisiana Purchase. Shown here is a map from
one of his notebooks.”

Thanks for all the questions, tips and suggestions everyone!

Review: Pentalic Illustrator’s Sketchbook

The Pentalic Illustrator’s Sketchbook is a nice little notebook I found at Lee’s Art Supply in New York several months ago.
It’s very basic, and in some ways hard to distinguish from other Moleskine clones, but it does have a few interesting points of differentiation.

  • The paper wrapper is a translucent vellum.
  • The cover material is a little smoother than Moleskine.
  • It has black endpapers.
  • The brand name is on the ribbon marker-, which is a bit longer than usual
  • In addition to black, white and brown covers are available.
  • It has 200 pages, a bit more than the usual 192 for notebooks this size.

Though the specs say it is 3.5 x 5.5″, it feels a little smaller than a Moleskine, and the cover overhangs slightly more, so the inside pages are smaller.

It has nice smooth paper that feels good with all pens, and my fountain pen worked nicely on it– but it’s a bit thin– not great for showthrough.


Pentalic is based in Oregon, US, but the notebook says it is “hand made in China”, and notes that the cover material is manufactured in the Netherlands. They also note “book design by Maurits,” so I guess that’s who gets credit for those little touches mentioned above!

There’s something very pleasing about this notebook– I love the black endpapers, and it just feels good in the hand. Given the showthrough and light paper, I’m not sure a lot of artists would really use it as a sketchbook, but I think I’ll work it into my rotation for daily jottings and quick sketches.

70 gsm/ 45 lb paper
200 sheets, 3.5″ x 5.5″

Moleskine Monday: The Problem

This blogger loves Moleskines but has a couple of problems with them: he finds the paper too thin, and feels they are sometimes “too nice” to be used. But he’s fighting against that:

Notebooks should be used, that’s what they are there for. This is plain paper, put something on it and turn the page. It doesn’t matter if it is “Buy milk” or the solution to all the problems in the world, just put some ink on the pages. Otherwise they will cry, feel left out, and then that will seep on over to you in the form of the curse of the blank page, starring you and your inability to actually produce anything of value.

Don’t care for your Moleskine notebook, don’t value it too high. Value what’s in it instead, by which I mean to say that you actually need to fill the book’s pages to make it worth anything. Even if it is just your shopping list.

Read more at The problem with Moleskine notebooks.


Notebook Addict of the Week: Dave

Dave has been featured here before: Slow Boat’s Chinese Notebooks. It turns out his collection of Asian notebooks goes much further, including these quirky finds!




See more notebook photos and commentary at Dave’s blog, Slow Boat. Thanks for sharing these, Dave!

The Notebook of an Autistic Artist

The New York Times recently published an extensive profile of an autistic young man and his struggles to function more independently as an adult in the working world. His ambition is to be an illustrator and animator– below are some photos of the amazing little drawings he does in the composition book he carries with him everywhere. You can see the notebook itself on the table in front of him in the family shot.

Read more at Autistic and Seeking a Place in an Adult World –



Inside Mattie’s Notebook

Isn’t this gorgeous?

See more, including the (als0 gorgeous) final paintings she makes based on studies like this, at :: Mattie’s Online Painting & Photography Studio ::.

Moleskine Monday: Homage To Shakespeare

Here’s a Moleskine page that’s gone viral:

I knew about some of these, but others were a surprise! Time to go back and study Shakespeare, I guess!
Read more at Things We Say Today And Owe To Shakespeare : The Two-Way : NPR.

Notebook Addict of the Week: Milagritos9

This week’s addict was found on Flickr, with a colorful selection of Filofaxes and other notebooks:





I love her color-themed collections! See more at My Journals, Diaries and Notebooks – a set on Flickr.

“Do you have a notebook?”

I was in a job interview once, and the prospective employer asked what seemed to me to be a most obvious question: “Do you have a notebook?”

“Why of course, sir,” I said, holding up the proud Moleskine imitation I had in my hand. “Right here.”

The man laughed. “Old school,” he said. “I meant, do you have a laptop?”

Ouch! The author goes on to talk about recording our thoughts on paper vs. in blog posts and tweets and concludes:

We are afraid of not having an audience, of not having eyes looking at us. We are afraid of being alone. We have become a lonely and haunted generation, because the point is that you keep a notebook because thinking and writing are pleasures in themselves, to be enjoyed in themselves, and you don’t need another person to “like” them for them to be so.

Read the rest of this insightful post here: Do You Have a Notebook?