Moleskine Review

The first time I laid my eyes on a moleskine was way back in 2005. I lived in Osaka, Japan, for a year, performing a variety of jobs, from teaching english to theatre set design, as well as being a salsa instructor (the funny thing is I can't salsa!). Just before leaving I saw one in a bookstore and it immediately caught my attention. I love stationery, and Japan is an awesome place for stationery-addicts, and this notebook really stood out. However, so did the price and I left it at that.

Coming back to Melbourne, I regretted not buying that little black notebook. A year later though, I noticed them multiplying in Melbourne bookshops. So, finally, in the beginning of 2007 I bought one. It was the one with gridlines. I should have gotten the sketch one with the thicker pages! Oh well. It still served me well. Since then I've progressed onto my standard, the sketchbook. Less pages, thicker pages, blank pages. Beautiful shape, great for carrying around, slightly off-white, and opens flat for scanning.

And looking back, I've really grown through these sketchbooks. Now I'm on my third "standard" moleskine and have been able to draw different parts of Australia, Vietnam, Japan.

So what's the point of this story?

A bit more than a month ago I received a very nice package in the mail from the generous folks at Chronicle Books. I received a box of moleskines to review, to test and to giveaway at my pleasure.

As you can see in the photos, I received a mixture of diaries, desk planners, reporter notebooks, and blank notebooks. They all have the high level of quality we've come to expect from the moleskine brand. I've tested some out since the beginning of this year. I particularly like the diary because each month is a separate book that is light and portable.

The reporter notebook is interesting as it opens on the short side and reminds me of those 1930s reporters. The blank ones are great for quick sketching and note-taking. However, I still prefer the sturdier pages of the sketchbook series. But it depends on the materials you use and how quick you sketch. I tend to build up my pages, probably as a response to the sketchbook. With the thinner page blank notebooks I found myself concentrating on a much faster, looser sketch, trying to capture the gesture more than nail the form.

And lastly, I'm going to give some of this stuff away! I think its good to give back and share the love. The only condition is that it is for US-based people only. I will announce the conditions on an upcoming post. Stay tuned!