Review: Moleskine Chapter

Moleskine released the chapter’s line in 2015. They’re softcover notebooks,with bright colored covers and contrasting colored spines. The softcover has a vinyl texture quality.

I love this notebook. I’m looking forward to using it.

But, I am suspicious of Moleskine’s quality. I’ve got lukewarm feet about jumping into this notebook because Moleskine made it. I’m not confidant Moleskine notebooks will hold up until the last page. Not because it’s a pretty flimsy softcover notebook (which it is), but because Moleskine has burned me before, leaving me with the hardcover coming apart at the spine, with less than 20 pages left. There’s been some love and trust lost. I swore them off, which opened me up to other non-Moleskine notebooks. However, I’m hopeful for this one, as the coptic binding and does not rely on adhesive, which was the downfall of the Hardcover notebook that fell apart on me.

Moleskine-Chapters - 1 of 2   The internal organization is divided into 7 chapters (14 pages each), with an 8th chapter for to-do lists. Each chapter has 14 pages, with a available in dot grid and lined formats. Moleskine-Chapters - 2 of 2

The paper is 70gsm, and not suitable for fountain pen. I use a Staedtler pigment liner (or something comparable). I experienced some ghosting. But ghosting doesn’t bother me, sometimes even pleases me, so long as it does not inhibit me from reading what is written on the page.

Moleskine-Chapters - 1 of 1

The coptic binding allows for the notebook to lay flat. The binding also allows for the front page to be bent behind the notebook while writing.

  • Coptic bound  (lays flat)
  • 70 gsm paper
  • Dot grid paper: 5mm line spacing
  • Slim A5 (21cm X 11.5cm)
  • 112 writing pages total

Historical Notebook found in used bookstore

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If you frequent used bookstores, keep your eyes peeled for old notebooks. This story comes from Hobart, Australia: an antique notebook belonging to a British Army Officer dated from 1810-1812 was found in a used bookshop, The Cracked and Spineless. When the bookshop switched owners, this notebook wedged into a neglected corner switched owners with it. Keep reading at the link!

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.