I had a very nice day a while ago - the sun was shining, I had a great meeting, an afternoon with absolutely no plans, and was in the centre of my hometown. I had been wanting to treat myself to a Moleskine notebook for quite some time - and for once I decided to stop thinking and waiting and not doing it, and to just dó this. I opened the heavy doors of Amsterdam's biggest department store, headed off to the fourth floor, kept on wondering whether I should really spend 17 euros on a damn notebook, and then unhesitatingly walked towards the cash desks.
Once I got home I carefully removed the plastic packaging from my black soft-covered notebook, and quickly grabbed a pen. What I first noticed was the firm quality of the paper - it's thin but the ink doesn't copy onto the next page, it's smooth but not so smooth for your pen to slip. You feel that the little book is of great quality when you flip through it - nothing comes off, nothing's 'crunchy'. I also feel like the more I take the notebook with me, the prettier it gets - where signs of aging in notebooks usually annoy me I like this notebook even more now its cover is a bit less black, and the sides are a bit more yellowish.
It's been a few months since I bought my first Moleskine. A few observations.
- A notebook is and always will be, no matter how expensive it is, a notebook. It's the same as when you buy expensive paintbrushes: your paintings won't suddenly be better, working with them only gets a bit easier.
- I never had a 'pretty' notebook before my Moleskine: I always purchase cute little notebooks with foxes and flowers and other quirky illustrations. They make me happy but in some situations having a more 'adult' notebook feels better. It doesn't necessarily have to be a Moleskine, though. :-)
- I haven't bought a new notebook since my last purchase! Every time I get the urge to buy another cute item I think of the little book in my backpack. In fact, buying this book has actually saved me money, even though that sounds contradictory.
A week or two ago I decided to buy a second Moleskine (because well, you never have enough notebooks, right, I'm sure you're thinking, well point 3 is an absolutely wrong observation, but no, keep on reading) - because I 'ran out of' my daily planner. You see, I haven't bought a standard diary in the last few years because I really do not like additions such as address books and calendars because I simply never use them. Because I'm not busy at all and just sit around doing nothing all day (sarcasm off) I make my own planners. My bigger notebook deserved a little baby notebook brother. I first wanted to make an exception by buying a 'real' Moleskine diary but paying 22 euros for a diary was a bit too much for me (I'm still a student, you know). I purchased a mini notebook and filled the pages with the data of the upcoming year. I now have a beautiful set and feel very sophisticated when I get it from my backpack.
Buying a more expensive notebook won't make you a talented writer, your words won't be more beautiful, your sentences won't be more interesting or complicated - but sometimes not having to scratch your pen to write beautiful letters, being able to write on thin paper with thick markers without pressing through the pages and having a really good soft cover is awesome. (I keep on seeing fake ones everywhere and even though they look pretty, they never feel as good as a 'real one'). It still is quite a redundant luxury product because paper is still paper and it won't change your life... but sometimes it's the not-life changing superfluities that make life a tiny bit easier and happier.