Wednesday, February 21


I would not want to have to do without my Moleskines. These are the legendary pocket-size notebooks used by artists and thinkers for the past two centuries--from Van Gogh and Picasso to Ernest Hemingway and Bruce Chatwin, from Charles Spurgeon and John Ruskin to Hilaire Belloc and John Buchan.

I’ve taken them all over the world and rarely am I without one (or two). I use the lined journal as well as the daily diary. I keep a few with watercolor-specific paper for sketching and drawing. And I've just discovered the new Moleskine City Guide Series (a combination journal and map book for cities like London, Vienna, and Prague).

I have stacks of old Moleskines--filled with random notes, outlines, lists, reviews, goals, agendas, piorities, quotes, squibbed ideas, and journal entries. And I always keep a few extras on hand--just in case. Nothing's better:


Short Thoughts said...

Love it. Where is your favorite place to purchase Moleskines? And, a notebook that remarkable must have a favorite pen that embellishes its pages. Do tell.

Lawrence Underwood said...

I, too, am almost never without one. They are wonderful.

gileskirk said...

Short: These days, it is much easier to find Moleskines than it was a few years ago. Borders bookstores carries a fairly full line. Fine pen and stationery stores also often stock them. But, there is now a direct online source at

As for favorite pens, well, I always use a fountain pen. I have several cheap ones and one or two not so cheap ones. And that will be the subject of a not too distantly future blog!

Short Thoughts said...

Thanks. I had not encountered these notebooks before and I am most impressed. From what little I have learned of you from reading this site, the fountain pen was a given. I am looking forward to your future post on the subject.

I enjoyed the "The Well-Read Traveler" link. Just as there are different books for different settings, there are also different pens for different situations. I hope you can touch on some of that in your post, i.e. everyday use, journaling, traveling, etc.

Jeff Short

Mark said...

You know, you ought to get a commission, because I'm going to go by one.

I've been doing a lot of note taking on the computer, as well as planning. But I don't think that is good for me either for my eyesight or my posture.

Any etymological insight on the name?

Mark said...


I've been consistently overlooking the second "e" in the word.

I had something kind of exotic in mind.

How embarrassing.

Lawrence Underwood said...

Fountain Pens!!!

I love mine. Especially my Pelikans.

Unknown said...

I have them!

Cheaper than B&N. =)

Josh said...

Fountain pens are the writing instruments of gentlemen.

AJ Harbison said...

Moleskine also makes a notebook with music manuscript--useful for (one-day-to-be) famous artists and thinkers who happen to be composers.

AJ Harbison
The Matrix Has You

Molly said...

And, let's not forget that dandy little pocket in the rear; worth the whole thing.