There is something about Moleskine

The Library
August 24, 2008
12:30 a.m.

Eons ago, I promised my secret correspondent, Dearest Phantom, to get all wax lyrical about a notebook. Yeah, you heard that right: a bloody notebook. Somewhere along the way, I got lost in transition and my memory did a flip-flop in my head – sending me to sleep dearly on my promises.

But, forgotten promises (just like the Ghost of Christmas Past) have a knack of haunting your conscience at the most bland time – just like tonight. Refused to be haunted by phantom of my old pledge, here I am, getting all wax lyrical about Moleskine: the legend of all notebooks.

When we first met, Moleskine and I, I haven’t a clue that my mispronunciation of his name had, somehow, turned whatever crush he had on me into a morbid distaste. He muttered under his breath, “What an ignorant, classless, unpolished woman this Elviza person is! She has not an inkling about legendary piece such as myself.”

To which I replied, “Who on earth, would spend so much money on mere pieces of paper?”

I was convinced that humankind has become something totally incomprehensible to my mediocre lifestyle. I promptly returned Mr. Moleskine back to its shelf. Whatever love I have for that unique shop named “How & When” at Bangsar Village had vanished into thin air with the revelation of the notebook’s exorbitant price tag. I was sure never to return to this cheating shop!

At this point, I have to be a tad pedantic, thus I sincerely apologise. The correct way to pronounce Moleskine is “mole-a-skeen-a”. However, mere mortals like us, say it the exact the way it is spelt. Really, who could blame us?

Admittedly, our first meeting was less than desirable, let alone be a moment to cherish for a lifetime.

I cursed the dead Christopher Marlowe as his lines kept flashing across my mind, “Who ever loved, that loved not at first sight?” And I found myself, more and more drawn to Moleskine, with each passing minute of the hour; hours of the day. Just like love at first sight.

In my highly reclusive, pedantic (read: boring as hell!) life, I have committed the cardinal sin of falling in love with the legendary Mr. Moleskine.

All of Moleskine notebooks are handmade. Its pages are made of acid-free papers and thoroughly checked for defect before reaching the shelves. They are exquisitely designed, stylishly bound and thoughtfully strapped around for the owner’s convenience.

Legends in artistic pursuits, such as, Earnest Hemingway, Pablo Piccasso and Bruce Chatwin had written and sketched in their Moleskine. But that fact has little bearing to me, there is something about Moleskine that makes my pencil just sail smoothly across its pages and pages thereafter. Time has no meaning once I start writing on Moleskine. My very first Moleskine (a birthday present) is tainted with stains of coffee, scratched from top to bottom, but I still love the piece like a treasure of a lifetime.

In short, Moleskine is: the Manolo Blahnik of all shoes, the Ferrari of all cars, the Fendi of all handbags, the Oscar de la Renta of all wedding dresses, the Apple MacBook Air of all laptops. Get the picture?

And I fell in love with him.

A thousand times good night.


18 thoughts on “There is something about Moleskine

  1. Dear Elviza

    Thank you for a most enlightening and entertaining review, of all things, a notebook. Never have I thought that such a sundry object can inspire such passion in a woman. Apparently, I have simply been too dull-witted.

    Your review has made me want to turn myself into a moleskine.

    Dear Frank,

    Please, there is nothing sundry about Moleskine notebooks. They are in their own, indescribable league. However, if you turned yourself into a Moleskine, that would be probably easier for me to carry in my handbag. Would you mind being one of those soft leather cover, dearest? πŸ™‚

  2. Elviza

    Ah! The venerable moleskine: The notebook of artistic giants! It is an icon to writers and those who who love to write. But alas, the pricing can be prohibitive.

    Fountain pen lovers have been bitching for a long time that moleskines are not fountain pen friendly: the paper bleeds when you use a fountain pen. Me? See if I care!

    Wonderful review, Elviza

    Dear Mat,

    You know, I recently got a gift a Montblanc fountain pen. And really, there is nothing to shout about that overpriced fountain pen. That probably explains why I write with pencil all the darn time. πŸ˜›

  3. Mish,

    As a connoisseur of all things from the trashy to the supremely beautiful (moola-skee-na included), I too had visited that corner shop in Telawi where my grubby hands were fortunate enough to have caressed the said article. The feeling was sublime indeed, eliciting a reaction not unlike a young man feeling up his date’s skirt for the very first time. I wouldn’t go so far to say it was love, but a certain primordial urge that simply wants me to own one. Not that I would ever use it to pen my thoughts oh no, but just to put in my bookcase and take it out when the need arises — ah, to cherish a work of beauty.

    Actually I was there because my 7 year old is crazy about color pencils and that joint stocks all the weird brands. You think we have the makings of another Bangkai ere… πŸ™‚

    Madsalo my favourite brother,

    When I read the first few lines, I thought someone has stolen your nick! Heh heh heh! But the last lines make me inhale a deep breath. It is still you: fuh!

    “…feeling up his dates skirt for the very first time” good god, men are just men. I digress.

  4. Elviza, pardon my roughshod manners (and this is my first comment here, to impudent of me) but this piece is for my friend Mat Salo(we share the same alma mater albeit coming in about a decade apart)…Mat Salo my friend, I follow your blog, Bangkai`s,Kak Teh`s and Elviza`s(of course) quite religiously.The difference between you and Bangkai, writing-wise, is that Bangkai`s evokes that nostalgic pining for that all-elusive perfect romantic moment we all secretly yearn for deep in our hearts, while yours, Mat Salo(atypical of budak Kolet), wax lyrical of such affairs of the heart no less eloquently, but always flirting quite dangerously with an element of the erotic ,yet completely harmless at the end of it all.

    Elviza…yours is straightforward from the heart, heart-stopping in its complete honesty!

    My apologies!

    Dear Higashi-san,

    The honour to host you here is all mine. Thank you for visiting and those kind words for my brother Madsalo and Mat Bangkai.

    I am sure, you too, are just too generous with your compliments, Sir. Have a good day.

  5. First it was Eliza’s raving which piqued my curiousity of this creature called Moleskine.

    Now, thanks to your kind erudition on this subject matter, I find myself falling for Mole-a-skeen-a hook, line and sinker.

    My dear friend,

    Buy one, then you will know what I am talking about… buy one now! πŸ™‚

  6. Elviza,
    My grubby fingers and poor handwriting dont deserve the Moleskine. Any ordinary excercise book will do for me.
    Thanks for exposing me to the ultimate notebook.


    I didn’t believe in Moleskine either initially but love is a funny thing huh?

  7. Mish, sorry to crowd around your space here… but something curious happened when I posted my comment. I swear (now, where have we heard this before?) that Bangkai and I (now that does have a nice ring to it, plus, it rhymes), MUST HAVE HIT THE SUBMIT BUTTON SIMULTANEOUSLY. Can you imagine us both having YOU in our thoughts AT VERY THE SAME TIME? Scary, ain’t it? Sounds too menage-a-troi-ish, eh Mish? πŸ™‚

    As to higashi-son, ah, what a pleasant surprise. Are you accusing me of flirting and skirting on the edges of decent human behavior? You are right, of course.

    I don’t know about you, but I had regretted spending five years in that ‘prison’, and later with the Anwar saga, being the butt (pun is indeed intended) of sniggers and snide remarks behind our backs.

    But the worse is growing up to be a socially awkward and backward animal… Imagine, at age 20, when confronted with the fairer sex, palms still clammy, limp and cold when offered a hand…

    And what about all the tea dances and parties that we missed?

    And that’s why my eyes get misty when Janis Ian’s “At Seventeen” is playing…

    BTW, Higashi-san, jokes aside, I really am flattered. Thank you. πŸ˜‰

  8. Elviza,
    Perhaps you need a set of porcupine quills to go with the fantastically glamorous moleskin.

    … my memory did a flip-flop in my head – sending me to sleep dearly on my promises. Ouch that porcupine quill hurts.


    Dear aMiR,

    You know what? A friend of mine went to Italy and she did buy me those! Only its too pretty to be used and it will make my Moleskine bleeds.

  9. Elviza,

    Two things really.

    First, you are blessed with a talent to write direct fr the heart, no holds barred. That’s good I think.

    Second, as you cursed the great Marlowe, don’t you think you are also cursed with such an intensed feelings? Must be hard to control all those emotions of yours. I know because I am one too.

    The only difference is that you could channel them out on this blog meanwhile I just suffer alone.
    I hope I could find my channel too…..


    I don’t really know how to answer this comment of yours. I guess, to a certain extent, the intense feelings can be a curse but on the other hand I also realised that I am living a life destined for me. And that, in itself, can’t be that bad, can it?

    I hope you find your channel soon and blogging is a good start I must say!

  10. I like Moleskine too! Just bought one and masih suci bersih lagi.. sayang pulak nak menulis, hehe.

    Anyways, nak wish Selamat Berpuasa to you and family. And Selamat Merdeka too!

    Dear Anakmami,

    Help! Another Moleskine’s fan on this blog! πŸ™‚

    Go on writing on that heavenly acid-free paper, my dear. Nothing beats the experience, quite literally put.

    Selamat berpuasa to you too.

  11. Cant picture you going ga-ga over a moleskine. Have never been proud of worldly possessions but maybe I am just getting too old for this sort of thing …

    Selamat Berpuasa to you and family.

    Dear Captain,

    It is never about the age, Sir. Remember, you were the one teaching me how to use Irfanview and I am a complete believer now. And I wasn’t going ga-ga over a Moleskine, I fell in love – hook, line and sinker. πŸ™‚

  12. Salam RAMDHAN to you & family dear.

    What a coincidence..I bought one just a few days ago. I use pencil to write as it gives me freedom to erase anytime I need to. Love it to bits.

    Dear Ruby,

    Your first comment here and I am beyond flattered. You have a Moleskine and you write with pencils: we are sisters already.

    Selamat berpuasa to you too…

  13. For a while, I thot you were talking about a new kind of laptop or computer notebook cased in leather or something…

    In your words β€œwhat an ignorant, classless, unpolished woman this sofia person is!” Sheesh… you made that mola… errr, whateva sounds so sexy.

    Dear darling sister,

    LOL. I don’t know I can make a notebook sounds sexy to you. Must be a good thing. Selamat Berpuasa to you.

  14. I love the way you can wax lyrical over a notebook…
    This is from someone who cannot resist stationery. Maybe someday soon I’ll be enticed beyond that price tag…
    Selamat menyambut Ramadhan al Mubarak. May you and family have a blessed month and be included among the people who are granted Lailatul Qadr’.

    Dear 4theprecious4,

    Hah! That’s the two of us! I can’t never resist stationery as well. I swear I saw a glint of pleasure in the CZip Lee’s owners eye’s every time I step into the store. It’s like I have “sucker” written all over my forehead.

    Selamat berpuasa to you too…

  15. Elviza: I first say your – er – poster on Rocky’s blog and thought you were one of those valiant politico-writers wielding words instead of swords to slay dragons and fashion a brave new world. In other words, I was too shy to comment before. But this post on Moleskines and the lovely Theta’s mention of my waxing lyrical of these particular wads of paper, I thought to put in a word or two (or maybe more)..
    This review is a wonderful review – creative and factual at the same time. Your other posts are also the same and I would like to suggest that you approach our local newspapers as a start to your writing career and offer to review books or to write articles for them on a freelance basis.
    Forgive me if you have done this already and I am ignorant of your byline.
    You are a good writer and you should get your pieces “out there” for the rest of the world to read.
    Keep on writing – and filling up the moleskine pages.
    I am not regretting for a minute my decision to splurge on the plain notebook – I’ve sketched and even coloured in it already, something I’ve not done for years!

    Dear Eliza,

    Is that really you, jotting a point or two, in my humble blog? Wow! *huge eyes*

    You must be talking about the poster Sheih of Kickdefella made me. I love it to bits and decided to display it there. I knew the poster does not do justice to my mushy writings but there you go…

    And please, you are too generous with your compliments, I am still finding my footing in this writing business. So far, it gets nowhere yet as my doubts and procratination always get in the way.

    The Moleskine. What can I say? I fell in love my friend! Fell in love I did at the very second sight of it!

    I hope to see you here more often. Take care and hugs for the boys.

  16. Elviza,

    This is how you feel toward the notebook? Wow… whoever your husband is a lucky person. That’s all I can say.

    Regards to him and the lovely boy.

    Dear Hashim Ahmad,

    I take this as a compliment. Thank you.

  17. I came across a blog about 2 years ago and the writer wrote about jotting his note on a Moleskine. Curious, I looked for it in a bookshop and my first comment was ‘mahal ge bedil’! πŸ™‚

    I must learn to write beautiful words (like yours!) first, lepas tu baru layak nak tulis on Moleskine.

    Dear Ubi,

    Ha ha ha ha! Lame sunggoh dok dengor orang kata, “mahal ge bedil”

    You simply made my day.

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