So I was doing one of my many internet searches, I have no idea what I was looking for at this point. Somehow I stumbled upon a phenomenon I was totally unfamiliar with but couldn’t take my eyes off none-the-less. It would be pretty accurate to call it the Cult of the Moleskine.
A moleskine is a notebook that comes in several styles, ruled, not ruled, sketch book, watercolor, squared, and it has an elastic band to mark your page or keep it closed. Apparently a lot of people cram a lot of stuff into these moleskines. For some it is simply a notepad to keep to-do lists in, for some a complete art collection as well as some kind of muse for the artist. Somehow sketches are better drawn in a moleskine, and writing is more important somehow.
There is history behind the moleskine, it is a notebook that has been in use for 2 freakin’ centuries, and names like Vincent Van Gogh and Hemmingway are tossed around as they were said to be users.
I saw notebooks used as diaries, travel logs, sketch books and planners. Some people even call their moleskine their PDA. The correct pronunciation isn’t even moleskin like it looks, it is mo-leh-skeen-eh, although I doubt many Americans pronounce it that way.
The website I came across first is called Molskinerie, legends and other stories. I literally spent the better part of an evening just perusing this site, astonished by how many
stories there were about people’s relationships and their commitment to their notebooks.
There are pictures and links and there are videos of people simply turning the pages of their moleskine, showing mostly artwork and writing from page to page. There even seems to be a particular way these videos are shot. Place said notebook on a neutral background and video tape a pair of hands slowly turning the pages making sure not to block the drawings and writings and lists and doodles. At the end, close the book, remove hands. Some people wrap the elastic band around the notebook
and then, The End.
If you want to make your moleskine more user friendly to your specific needs, there are hacks to modify your notebook. Hacks! And all the while I was simply fascinated. I just kept looking and reading and then I searched and looked at more pictures and videos and read some more.
I came across something called The Moleskine Project, a catalog of moleskine’s and what they are filled with, submitted by users all over the world. I can actually spend time looking at all the notebooks but for the life of me I am baffled as to what attracts me.
After looking at all the ways devotees use their notebooks, and seeing all the art created between their covers, and considering the attachment users have to their notebooks, I decided I must have one. Why? I don’t have the slightest idea. There is discussion as to whether it is the fabulous writer or artist who chooses the moleskine or whether the moleskine makes the average writer or artist – fabulous. The chicken or the egg.
So I await my moleskine with curiosity more than anything. I am not a writer and certainly not an artist and will probably be intimidated by the very idea of this simple notebook when I get it. It is. a. notebook. Nothing more. I have a feeling that my using one will prove that. But we will see, won’t we?*