It's ironic that recent Pen Addict podcast chat has been around the Moleskine notebooks because I too recently thought "huh, I wonder if those Moleskine notebooks are any better." I was enticed by pretty mint coloured covers and exposed pink binding that made me buy one of the Moleskine Chapters notebooks. I been using it as a work notes scratch pad and I have some, mostly unsurprising, thoughts.
What was I thinking?
I'm a little annoyed with myself for being suckered in by prettiness when I know these notebooks have crap paper. I was intrigued by the form factor, it reminded me of a Travelers Notebook insert and I enjoy ruled notebooks so this kind of ticked a few boxes.
Moleskine notebooks have always had a bad reputation for poor quality paper. The paper in this notebook is dyer. It failed with pretty much any pen I used. Fountain pens with an EF nib feathered like crazy and the bleed through was awful. My Baron Fig Squire didn't fare much better with horrendous show through on the other page.
Gel pens worked fine on the paper but it's so thin I felt like it could tear. The only writing tool that worked ok was a pencil but then there's so many other better paper options for graphite that I'd rather not waste my time with the Moleskine.
This is a brief review today because it's simple, don't waste your time, money or ink/graphite on one of these notebooks. Buy something with better paper and actually enjoy using a notebook.