Spotted in a recent issue of the New Yorker:
It’s funny, but also kind of a shame that writing in a notebook in a public place has to be seen as pretentious…
Just spotted this article: Why Startups Love Moleskines – The New Yorker, which notes that “the popularity of Moleskine notebooks seems to defy the widespread worship of technological innovations coming out of Silicon Valley.” Ok, that is a trend that has been talked about a lot, and I’ll actually read the rest of the article later, but what struck me was this image that accompanies it on the New Yorker website:
It is a very nice-looking notebook, but I can’t help wondering if it is really a Moleskine! In my experience, Moleskine brand notebooks never have that larger margin at the top before the lines begin– the lines are evenly spaced over the whole page, and sometimes cut very close to the top edge of the paper. The lines also look a bit darker than usual for a Moleskine, but that seems to vary in some of their print runs. This could maybe be a Piccadilly, but they don’t usually have that extra space either. Maybe some other Mole-clone brand?
The New Yorker has an article on their website about Moleskine’s history and new products: When Moleskine Went Digital. Much of it reads like it’s straight from a Moleskine press release, except for this key phrase towards the end: “Moleskine is very good at telling stories. The question is whether people are interested in hearing this new one.”
To accompany the article, they re-used some of these charming little notebook illustrations that I had spotted in the print magazine a few months ago:
Lovely little spot illustrations throughout the Dec. 23 & 30, 2013 issue:
I was catching up on my New Yorker magazines over the weekend and enjoyed this article by Calvin Trillin: Remembering the Freedom Riders.
I also liked the accompanying photo of the author as a young reporter… with a notebook, of course!
Thanks to a tip from a reader, I found this nice little post by Macy Halford, at the New Yorker’s publishing blog, The Book Bench:
Not too tall, not too short, not too fat, not too thin, not too flimsy or with too stiff a spine. And most of all, not with lines too far apart.
These are the criteria that must be met by a notebook if it is to be called mine (my mother always said, “Never settle when it comes to a notebook”), and if you are anything like me, you are constantly on the lookout, constantly wondering when you stroll into a bookshop whether Mr. Moleskine will finally have come up with something just right, something you. Because even though the legendary notebook of Hemingway is undeniably handsome, and even though the line has expanded to include those delicate, brown-paper-bound cahiers (my favorites), I always end up disappointed. A few scribbles and I find myself asking, Is this all there is?
Truth be told, I’ve been searching so long that I’d just about given up hope. I thought I was doomed to a life of half-completed notebooks, nearly the same as half-completed thoughts. And then one day last week, while wandering the wilds of the Upper East Side, I ventured into Shakespeare and Co., and there it was, just sitting there: the perfect notebook.
Read more at White on White: The Book Bench : The New Yorker.