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In Praise Of Moleskine



The Good Captain

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The Good Captain

I've always liked Moleskine notebooks and especially the pocket-sized ones - 9x14cm. Just ideal for the everyday 'get off my chest' sort of comments. A bit like my LOMO camera used to be for 'photo-thoughts'. I know that the Moleskines have a bit of bad press but that's probably down to people's reluctance to sort out what is right with Moleskine for themselves, rather than complain and whinge that Moleskine 'doesn't like my ink' sort-of thing.

So I decided that I'd start using them again, in favour of the Leuchtturm pocket ones and see what happened. I've gone back to the soft-cover ones for the simple reason that I've found a superb chap who makes leather covers for them (along with a load of other stuff) and mine arrived this morning. I'll come to that in a bit.

When I first started my first Moleskine I'd done a bit of searching for 'good' inks for Moleskine and came across this excellent series of reviews. I immediately went for the Pelikan 4001 Blue-Black - just my sort of colour anyway - and have never looked back.

Therefore, I would suggest that people might care to try Moleskine-friendly inks first, before they rule out the paper altogether. (Sorry about the pun.) Making something work for you is a lot more fun than complaining that something doesn't suit you. Just my opinion.

Anyway; soft covers here I come and as I mentioned, I've a perfect soft leather cover for the start of my next project. This is the one I went for, from Fenner Crafts. A fabulous chap to deal with and the service has been excellent. The soft Italian leather and soft cover of the book just go together perfectly. Of course, that's my opinion and some people might prefer hard covers and thicker leather.

I've not tried a hard cover book in there but the covers are designed for both and I guess that a similar-sized book, like a Rhodia, would fit too. But I don't want to use either of those.

Here's a picture of mine.

fpn_1392982315__fenner_soft_moleskine_co

So, come on people - give Moleskine another shot! You know you want to.

The Good Captain

"Meddler's 'Salamander' - almost as good as the real thing!"

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depends what you prioritise i guess. I have a range of inks so I couldnt be bothered relying on paper that isn't suited to them all, I'm already invested there. I like the cover though, very nice.

My two best writers.

http://s2.postimg.org/v3a1772ft/M1000_Black_L_R.jpg..........http://img802.imageshack.us/img802/1217/85960889.png

.........I call this one Günter. ......... I call this one Michael Clarke Duncan.

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I have a soft spot for Moleskines, too. They were the first "grown up" notebooks I encountered and I still like them and use them. The paper isn't as bad as other people claim. Finally, I think it's interesting that people feel free to bash them but are in the same time reluctant to criticize other items, like certain inks.

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I use Moleskines all the time, indeed after selecting a properly working Pen/Ink combi. In my colection, there are a lot of Hero's, Kaigelu's, JinHao's, Baoers, Watermans, Shaffers, Lamy's, KaWeCo's and Parkers that work pretty well. More important than the pen seems to be the ink, Pelikan 4001 in royal blue and black/blue work always, Parker Quink black/blue most of the time. It's a bit dated but here http://inkyjournal.blogspot.nl/search/label/100%25%20Moleskine-proof%20ink are some Moleskine compatible inks and some sort of "Moleskine compatibility rating score system", so there is more choice than the ones I have tested and use on a regular basis.

For what its worth, none of the Diamine/CS inks I have tried with any pen work due to the wetness. I will soon receive some Rohrer & Klinger and will check those out too.

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M'skine is also my very most fave paper for my T-shirt pockets

:)

Life is too short to drink bad wine (Goethe)

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I'm not going to bother "making something work" for me when there are so many alternatives that are, for me, better quality/cheaper/more suited* (*delete as appropriate) to my needs. Life's too short to use something that doesn't work for me.

However, just because I don't like Moleskines, I don't "bash" them, as I realise some may prefer them. I just don't buy them

Verba volant, scripta manent

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That's a gorgeous notebook cover. I usually have a Moleskine or two on the go, and I find that the paper works well with nearly all my inks and nibs (F and XF). They have a size and style for every purpose.

"Life would split asunder without letters." Virginia Woolf

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Thank you for this post and helpful link. I have a number of unused Moleskines and am now inspired to use them with compatible inks. They were purchased almost 10 years ago. I wonder if the paper is different than what is in notebooks of recent manufacture.

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I have given 10+ limited edition of Moleskine away to my friends that don't use fountain pen.

I don't like being forced to use certain combination of pen and ink to write.

Quite like Moleskine but there are so many alternatives available and will no longer be interested to get more Moleskine.

Do not pray for easy lives, pray to be stronger men.../JFK

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Most of us who have an unshakable opinion about molie notebooks (or the brand in general) have arrived at that position by experience. And I like my molies. Not for the paper, that really doesn't bother me much. You're right, I have a soft spot for them. But I also have a nice stack that I got for free, several years ago, by making it known that I would like to receive them as gifts for any suitable occasion. I'm still using those red hard cover pocket sized molies.

But I don't think I'll ever buy another one of my own. There are simply too many interesting notebooks on the market these days. But I would never turn one down as a gift.

I ride a recumbent, I play go, I use Macintosh so of course I use a fountain pen.

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Joe in Seattle

I have a nice Rennaisance Arts moley cover my wife gifted me many moons ago. I have moved on from moleskins to Luke's term 1917 notebooks which do not fit the cover. However, I recently learned that the Tahmoh River paper notebooks being sold here do fit the cover, albeit barely. FWIW my next notebook is a 1917. I like the way "takes" the ink better than almost anything else.

"how do I know what I think until I write it down?"

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PocketNotebook

That is one really cool notebook cover. :drool:

 

I love moleskine. Sorry, can't help it. Before I bought one I rolled my eyes at the very mention of them. Before. :D

I've just received some Aurora ink, and I'm hoping that it'll work on my m'skine. I don't mind showthrough, but I can't take bleed-through.

 

PN

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androids.conundrum

I have mixed feelings about moleskine.

 

The one I have I got for free to start a journal and this was before I got into fountain pens. I enjoy the color of the paper and the lines and like the size for the intended application. But this is basically where my positive feelings end.

 

Yes, fountain pens can be used but in my experience only extra fine nibs work (with all my inks). I use extra fine nibs for notes and school work but the pens I most enjoy to write with do not put down so fine or dry a line. This has left me in the awkward position of not wanting to journal because the pens that make me want to write don't work on the paper and an experience that should feel therapeutic ends up feeling like an assignment.

 

On a non fountain pen note, after a number of years of light usage (leaving it on my nightstand and only opening it to write) the quality of the notebook leaves something to be desired. The elastic is loose and floppy, the spine has disconnected from the text block and where it has disconnected the material feels cheap and plasticy, its not anywhere near falling apart but its still not exactly nice.

 

If they were the only notebook available or they were cheaper I might choose inks to suit them but at their current prices I would much rather buy a nice ream of paper an bind a notebook myself (and be able to use any ink/pen combo) than buy another moleskine.

 

But I am glad that you have found a notebook that works for you.

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My introduction to high quality paper/notebooks was Moleskine several years ago. While I find them to be rather hit or miss with fountain pens, I still buy them. I keep the ones that work and give those that don't to a friend who doesn't use fountain pens...she loves them! I will not however, buy another Leuchtturm.

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I have several Moleskines tucked away in various drawers, for bad behavior. Perhaps I will try again, maybe with something different, like Organics Studio Charles Darwin fast dry black in my TWSBI mini with its fine nib.

 

Worth a shot...

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The idea of using Moleskines to journal with FP's has been on my mind for a long time. This post pushed me over the fence and I finally got an A5 soft cover notebook for myself. I am pleasantly surprised at the quality, as I was kind of expecting terrible feathering and bleed-through. That was what happened when I tested my FP's on an A6 Evernote x Moleskine (essential for my studies) and a B5 Cahier (a gift, haven't decided what to do with it yet).

 

Not sure if this is the place to share, but people might be interested. The Moleskine I got has stood up to these combinations:

Sailor Jentle Blue Black in Pilot Metropolitan <F>

7:3 mix of Pilot Blue and Black in Pilot Vanishing Point <F>

R&K Salix in Hero 329

R&K Verdigris in Muji FP

Iroshizuku Shin-kai in Pelikan M205 <F> (which writes more like a medium. My wettest ink in my wettest pen - and no problems on Moleskine! Am I dreaming??)

 

Only the Verdigris x Muji combination exhibited some visible feathering at a distance of 17 inches. There is also some very minute feathering with other combinations but they are only discernible if you examine them super closely.

 

Admittedly the above inks are known to be well-behaved and they were in F nibs. Yet those are my staples and I'm glad it's working out for me without necessitating changes in my usual habits. I'm really looking forward to trying out my 2 favourite inks which are currently out of rotation - Iroshizuku Tsuki-yo and Sailor Nano Pigment Sei-Boku (blue black).

 

Good call, captain. Many thanks.

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  • 2 weeks later...
white_lotus

That's a very lovely notebook cover.

 

I used Moleskines before I got into fountain pens (not that I have very many, i.e. 2). And they were very useful for my purposes. They're mostly used now for my production notes at work. And for that they're fine. If I hold a page to the light it's difficult to read due to see-through, but that's not a problem when going back to my notes normally. Yes sometimes there's a mark on an opposite page when I close the notebook. I'm not concerned about that so much. It's all still readable and I can use it. I don't know about feathering, as I don't think I've seen that.

 

I'm using

Sailor pigmented black in a Lamy 2000 <M> and

Noodler's Beaver in Aurora Ipsilion Deluxe <M>

 

I've ordered some new inks and will try those out.

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