Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The little black book that could

I’ve always been searching for the perfect notebook. I constantly carry one with me, creased from being carried in my purse. Everything is a journal entry: notes, grocery lists and snatches of conversation, titles and authors of books I might like to read, recipes, songs I want to listen to, rough sketches of things.

When travelling, I spend a lot of time in local pubs and coffee houses and write postcards or an entry in my notebook. It somehow took we away from the bad habit I had of constantly sightseeing through my camera lens. People can spend their entire trip in one silly posture: arms stretched forward, digital camera in hands, eyes squinting at the tiny screen, not looking at where they are going. (Am I the only one seriously annoyed by this?). Anyway, I would draw the most mundane of things: a plant that grows in the cracks of the sidewalk, a plate of food, a hand holding a cup of coffee, my hotel room, whatever. I started to sketch more seriously when I got my hands on a Moleskine notebook in Lausanne, Switzerland and I’ve incorporated Moleskines into my daily life since then. Keeping a travel journal is one of the best things I've ever done to keep my travel experiences fresh in my mind.

At first I thought that my Moleskine was so beautiful I was afraid to draw in it. After all, they have been used by the likes of Hemingway and Picasso; I just didn't feel moleskine-worthy. After a couple of weeks, I got over it and became hooked. These notebooks are very rugged and will last you through your travels. I left one of mine under the rain once, and the pages were still legible and the penciled drawings were fine (but pages with ink pen were smeared). I like it when my notebooks are less precious looking and more solid (no cutesy flowery cheapo journals for me, thank you very much).

The regular-size Moleskine costs about 30$cdn and will last you several months. The company has started to do a less expensive line called the Cahier line, and they are nice for to-do lists and practicing your drawings. Standard models include a pocket to collect the scraps of your life, and a hard black cover. Caro, I know you will appreciate this piece of info: you can buy them at the Papery on Bank.

Words dazzle and deceive because they are mimed by the face. But black words on a white page are the soul laid bare.— Guy de Maupassant

What are your journal fetishes?


Blogger Caro said...


Comme tu le sais j'adore le Moleskin. J'ai acheté mon journal actuel au Utah, lors de mon road trip de 2003. Je ne dessine rien mais j'ai pris l'habitude d'inscrire en dessous de la date de mon entrée la température qu'il fait et la musique que j'écoute (souvent Joni Mitchell)au moment où j'écris.
Mon blogue fait en sorte que j'écris pas mal moins dans mon journal mais je le traîne toujours avec moi, comme mon livre et mon walk man. "Hopeful thinking". J'espère pouvoir trouver deux minutes dans ma journée pour écrire. Ça n'arrive jamais. Au moins, il me reste l'espoir...

4:59 PM  
Blogger Voix said...

I just discovered Moleskin notebooks about 6 months ago. I'm the kind of person who can't go anywhere without a notebook in my purse. I can always write if someone keeps me waiting.

6:40 PM  

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