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Old 06-29-2005, 09:12 AM   #1
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Location: In Connecticut, on the Housatonic River near its mouth at Long Island Sound.
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Default Return of the moleskine

I used to buy wonderful little notebooks, casebound with stitched non-acid paper between hard covers, and fastened by means of an elastic band. I could throw them into my handbag without having the pages bent or torn, and always have something to write in.

At some point, perhaps a decade ago, they disappeared from all the stores that used to have them. I still have a couple of the old ones, kind of beat-up, but usually avoid actually writing in them because then there would be none.

The last two I found have plain textured cardboard covers and came from Urban Outfitters, but they no longer seem to carry them. And they are kind of mediocre, anyway (the elastic has long since stopped being elastic, for one thing). Another old one has leather-covered hard covers; but its elastic has also failed.

Well …

A week ago I found a U.S. online source for these gems: ShipTheWeb.com. I ordered a few, and they arrived today, and they are every bit as wonderful as they ever were. In fact, the ones I used to get were probably knockoffs of this one, called moleskine — so marked by embossing on the back cover.

They not only offer the small format I used to get (roughly 3.5 X 5.5 inches) but a larger size (5 X 8), which is available bound book-style or at the top (like a steno pad). So I got two of those and one of the small; and they sent me a free diary (since the year is half over, I guess; still quite nice).

The books have a pocket inside the back cover; in the larger format, it expands a bit. In the diary, they tuck a removable address booklet in the pocket. The paper can be blank, ruled, or gridded; I chose grids for all. It is very nice paper.

BTW — I also have an online source for those wonderful French pads (the orange ones with flip-over covers), if anyone is interested.

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