Tag Archives: ruled

Moleskine Monday: My Collection

I haven’t done many Moleskine Monday posts lately… and it’s been a while since I’ve updated you on my stash of spare Moleskines. For those who haven’t read other posts where I’ve talked about how I feel about the Moleskine brand, here’s an abbreviated version:

Late 1990s/early 2000’s— not too long after Modo e Modo introduces them, I start seeing Moleskines in stores, and receive a pocket Sketchbook as a gift. It re-awakens my slightly dormant notebook fetish and I start using them for occasional notes and drawings. But I’m not totally obsessed because I’m still really into Palm Pilots. During this period I think I once bought 2 sketchbooks while on a 3-week business trip, and it made me feel like a crazy hoarder.

Mid-late 2000’s— the softcover Moleskines are introduced and for some reason, I fall head over heels in love with the pocket size squared softcover. It’s the first notebook I’ve truly filled from cover to cover. I start this blog and allow myself to wallow in full-on notebook adoration. (Palm Pilots are over, the iPhone isn’t as exciting, and I turn back to notebooks to satisfy my life-long need to fondle something small and rectangular.) My love affair with the softcover fades, but I am using and buying lots of hardcover Moleskines and other similar notebooks such as Piccadilly, HandBook Artist Journal, and the many others I’ve written about here. The Moleskine brand has exploded. They’re everywhere. They’ve become a bit of a cliché, perhaps, but I still love them. I settle into a habit of simultaneously using a pocket squared or plain notebook for daily list-making and journaling, and a pocket sketchbook for drawing and watercolors. (My other routine notebook is a small Moleskine cahier or Field Notes that I use for my French class.) At some point during this period, they stop putting the Modo e Modo name on them, and start using only “Moleskine” in all their branding. They also change their US distributor from Kikkerland, who used to be mentioned on the packaging, to Chronicle, who is not. At this time, I maybe stockpile half a dozen Moleskines, a few Piccadillies, and a couple of HandBook Artist Journals.

Early 2010’s— Moleskine’s rapid growth seems to have led to declines in quality and changes in how they’re made. They are introducing new products at a dizzying pace and focusing more on bags and wallets than notebooks. There’s too much cover overhang, they’re less refined, the paper is thinner– they’re just not as nice. But there still isn’t any other brand that quite meets all my preferences for daily notebooks. When I buy Moleskines in a store, it’s only after inspecting them very carefully to see if they are good ones. Sometimes I find older stock from batches that were better made. I would guess that at this point, I might have hit about 20 unused Moleskines stashed for future use.

Mid- 2010’s— I can’t find good Moleskines in stores anymore.  I have to send in quality complaints about a couple of notebooks ordered online– the company sends replacements, but they aren’t much better. I’ve had it. In February 2014, I post Moleskine Monday: I May Never Buy a New Moleskine Again. But I also turn to the internet and start searching for older stock that still has the Modo e Modo name on it, and once in a while, I hit the jackpot, especially on eBay. I quickly realize that I can only buy Moleskines if I see a photo of the actual notebook, not a standard product shot which may be out of date. Whenever I see the older-looking belly-bands (someday I’ll do a post on how their design has evolved over the years), I snap them up if I can get them for a less-than-outrageous price. I start building up my stash of spares, which by August 2014 includes 37 assorted Moleskines that I would potentially use as everyday notebooks/sketchbooks. After a while, it’s grown quite large and I start trying to track my inventory in a spreadsheet, but I don’t do a great job keeping it up to date. Last time I updated the spreadsheet, the total count was 132. I decide to cut back a bit on my eBay browsing, as I’m running out of room to store all my notebooks!

Now— below are some photos of my stash, which is stored in shoe boxes, some under-bed plastic boxes, and in piles on shelves. Whenever I look at some of the really nice old ones with their perfect corners, I get all pissed off all over again, knowing that somebody once figured out how to make the perfect notebook and then they turned it into crap!


I also had a whole drawer-full in my office, until I started working from home. I’m counting just my actual Moleskine branded notebooks for the purposes of today’s post, though I also have a bunch of similar non-Moleskine notebooks earmarked for potential daily usage someday (as opposed to things that are fun to have in my collection, but not planned to be used). Here’s the count:

56 pocket sketchbooks. (I go through about 3-4 a year.)

55 pocket squared (I go through about 3-4 a year.)

12 pocket plain

30 pocket ruled (I normally don’t like ruled notebooks but on a couple of occasions I bought large lots of mixed paper styles. Since they are old ones with good paper and good overall quality, I’m willing to use one occasionally just to stretch out the lifespan of my inventory.)

Other pocket size: 1 storyboard, 1 music, 1 info book, 1 plain softcover, 1 address, 2 Japanese album, 2 ruled reporter, 1 squared reporter

Large size: 1 Voyageur, 1 large sketchbook, 1 large squared

I have not counted any “cahier” or Volant thin notebooks, as I have a few of those mixed in with various Field Notes and other similar stapled or stitched-spine notebooks. But the quantity is very small, just a few I’ve been given.

A few of the sketchbook, squared and plain ones are more recent models that I will use as a last resort. The info book is all crooked and defective, and I’m not quite sure why I’m even keeping it. But the count ends up at over 166 Moleskines, over 150 of which I am likely to potentially use on a day to day basis. (I haven’t counted the sketchbook and squared notebooks I am using now, or any of the dozens I’ve already filled.)

So… I know I’m a little crazy. My partner, who has to live with notebooks constantly arriving in the mail and taking up way too much of our limited space, definitely thinks I’m a little crazy (but also knows there are far worse vices). But the question remains, is it enough? 56 sketchbooks divided by 3 a year is a little less than 19 years, and I’ll only be about 67 years old at that point. The squared ones, if extended with the plain and ruled notebooks, will last up to 32 years, when I’ll be 81. I can probably ease off buying any more of those (unless I spot any really good cheap ones!) but I think I’m allowed to buy some more sketchbooks. Yay!


Notebooks With Embroidered Science Illustrations

These notebooks have an unusual design combo: vintage science, math and medical illustrations embellished with embroidery:

“Since we last checked out Athens-based Fabulous Cat Papers (previously) they’ve released a whole new series of notebooks that incorporate vintage science/medical illustrations printed on Japanese paper with hand-stitched embroidery. The notebooks come in a variety of sizes and options for blank, ruled, and graph papers.”

Source: New Japanese Paper Notebooks Featuring Vintage Science Illustrations Merged with Hand-embroidery | Colossal

Notebook Addict of the Week (again): P. W.

This week’s addict was first featured in 2012 with this photo of their collection:

As of January 2015, here’s the current collection:

Annotated on Flickr as follows:

my stack of blank notebooks. from left to right:

– moleskine large weekly notebook planner 2014, le petit prince edition

– little prince diary, gift from a friend, purchased in hong kong

– hardcover notebook, souvenir, purchased at the vatican museum

– staple-bound softcover notebooks, souvenirs, purchased at vertecchi, rome

– hand-decorated softcover notebook, souvenir, purchased at il papiro, rome

– hardcover notebook, souvenir, purchased at cartoleria pantheon, rome

– moleskine large weekly notebook and small daily planners 2013, le petit prince edition

– moleskine weekly notebook planner 2012, pacman edition

– moleskine large ruled and small plain notebooks, the hobbit edition

– stone paper softcover notebook, souvenir, purchased at the royal ontario museum, toronto

– moleskine large weekly notebook planner 2011

– moleskine large ruled and small plain notebooks, star wars edition

– moleskine large ruled notebooks, indigo exclusive edition

– large hardcover twine-bound notebook, gift from brother, purchased in mexico city

– moleskine large ruled and small plain notebooks, le petit prince edition

– moleskine large weekly notebook planner 2010

– large hardcover notebook with handmade paper

– moleskine small blank notebook, peanuts edition

– moleskine large ruled notebooks, indigo exclusive edition

– moleskine small ruled notebooks, van gogh edition

– tarpaper notebook, souvenir, purchased at la feltrinelli on via di torre argentina, rome

– stifflexible notebook, souvenir, purchased at la feltrinelli on via di torre argentina, rome

– leather cover notebook, souvenir, purchased at san lorenzo market, florence

– handmade notebook, souvenir, purchased at montserrat

– softcover notebook, souvenir, purchased at park guell, barcelona

What a great idea to take regularly updated photos of the collection as it grows, with notes on where each one was purchased. A lot of these are from Rome, which I think will have to be my next major notebook shopping destination!

Lineaturen Notebook

Here’s something similar to the Grids and Guides notebook I posted about a few weeks ago. It’s called “Lineaturen” in German, which seems to translate to “line structures.”


I spotted this notebook at the Centre Pompidou store and thought it was quite neat, not just as a notebook but as an exploration of the various types of notebooks people use around the world. Here’s the description from the publisher:

Rimini Berlin has been collecting exercise books, notebooks and writing blocks from different countries for years, and each culture has developed it’s own ruling system. From this collection, we have created a notebook with 50 different rulings, from the trusted DIN format to that used for mathematical notation to traditional chinese writing blocks.

As a collection, the ruled paper is no longer seen as a blank page to be filled. Instead the diverse rulings inspire a different way of thinking, writing and ideating.
The rulings can be used as a matrix for taking notes, sorting information or sketching ideas, allowing for a spontaneous visual journey through different cultures. In the indes you will find the efinition of each ruling system. The notebook is printed on recycled paper.

Berlin 2011, 192 Seiten, 13 × 17 cm, einfarbig, broschiert, INDEX in englischer Sprache! 3. Printing 2013!!!
ISBN 978-3-86895-078-6


You can buy it at the publisher’s website, or via Amazon.



The Endless Notebook

If you don’t know where to stop, buy some of these: The Endless Notebook.

Each notebook is 32 pages, 4×6″. Ruled and plain paper are available, $7.00 per two-pack.

Notebook Addict of the Week: Travisthetrout

Travis the Trout shares this photo of his stash, at least part of it!

The notebook collection here is very different from my eye-candy ones of my childhood when my collection was all about the look, now my notebooks also have a more academic appeal. My intentions are to weed out the practical from the beautiful and try and come up with a more organised way for displaying such notebooks rather than have them stacked in my wardrobe.

I’m impressed when notebook addicts can get to the point of attractively displaying their notebooks rather than just keeping the huge piles from spilling over!

Read more at My Study Project: The notebook edition « Travisthetrout’s Blog.