Why I don’t use Moleskine

When I switched over from pretty journals to notebooks, I thought I’d be set up with Moleskines for life. I imagined the satisfaction of having a uniform collection of A5 Lined Black Moleskines. As I progressed through the notebook, I loved how it was wearing and aging, how the filled pages were easily identified just by looking at the edges of the closed notebook. So, I was very disappointed when this happened within the last 20 pages of my first Moleskine:
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I filled my Moleskine up to the brim, filling most pages 100%. I do this because I imagine being 80 years old with ~30 notebooks holding my life’s writings will be much more manageable than ~60 half-filled ones. You know, archival and longevity reasons. I’ve since used other notebooks to their full capacity without any serious durability issues or fallings apart.

I will also note that I am very careful with my notebooks. So this notebook falling apart is not from carelessness, it is truly just from normal use.

I understand that most notebook users don’t fill their notebooks 100%, so this might not be an issue for many writers — but that doesn’t excuse the poor durability. Like planned obsolescence, perhaps Moleskine doesn’t imagine the majority of their customers using their notebooks to their full capacity? But they should! It was disappointing. This notebook is irreplacable and I so value what is written inside. I don’t want to be doctoring my notebooks, especially for pricey pricey Moleskines. Just put in fewer pages, Moleskine, if you can’t hack it well.

Alas, this unfortunate experience sparked a great interest in searching for excellent writers notebooks. I have since found out that many other notebook manufacturers do a Moleskine better than Moleskine.

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5 thoughts on “Why I don’t use Moleskine

  1. I too have turned from a Moleskine fan to a disappointed ex user. I used Moleskines for all my Open Uni course – they got carried to work with my text books every day and then marked up for revision later. And they did me proud.

    And then – well the quality seems to have taken a nosedive. The paper is thin and rough, even when using pencils, and forget using gel pens never mind about fountain pens.

    So this blog looks just what I’m looking for.

    I’ve just got some Blackwing notebooks – but only just, so I’m not sure how robust they will be. And by robust I mean lying on the floor whilst I make notes on the floor ports or in the main network hub rooms to sort out networking issues around the office. Love the fact the pencil sits in the back – and what pencils. And the paper seems to take FPs very well. So far so good. But will they last for a year or more of fairly rough treatment?

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    1. Yes, I’ve heard that too, that earlier Moleskines were consistently better quality. What a bummer! I would imagine their quality declining coincides with their popularity exploding. I’m sure it’s difficult to keep the quality nice and consistent as the demand just explodes.

      I have heard really good things about Blackwing! I have yet to try them out, but looking forward to doing so. 🙂

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    1. Thansk! You know, I’ve heard that too about the varying quality of Moleskines. I’m so glad this hasn’t happened to you — it’s such a bummer. I have a fresh A5 Moleskine that I’m tempted to use from time to time, but… I think it’s safer if I just don’t.

      Do you have any idea as to how to tell the difference between a “good” Moleskine and a bad one?

      I’m kind of tempted to buy the new PaperTablet Moleskine (not including the camera pen), thinking their production quality is sure to be good at least at the beginning of a new product, but $30 for a Moleskine is…. eh.

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      1. I’m not sure. You could look at the binding. I have over 10 Moleskines with lots of daily use, and they are holding up very well.

        It may also depend on where you get your Moleskines from. I usually get them off Amazon or my local Moeskine store.

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