Ah the beloved and classic Moleskine, how I wanted to know thee. Before I bought my first one, I read numerous accounts of people feeling very strongly one way or another about their place in paperdom. The complaints ranged from the paper being the most horrible ever made, to the best ever made and everything in between. I tend to research my paper purchases heavily but when you see something as visual pleasing as the Moleskine and the seemingly 50/50 split on the quality, I simply have to try it myself.
Unfortunately for Moleskine, I didn’t get very far in my usage. Yes, I still carry the Volant in my pocket because it’s the perfect size and intended to be used with a Fisher space pen which has no problems on any paper. However, the Cahier and the ever ubiquitous 3.5″x5.5″ hardback Moleskine are getting shelved to most likely never be used again. I really wanted them to work because they’re everything I imagine a notebook should be. Simple, classy, and very easily obtained. Even when placing a Moleskine next to a knockoff Piccadilly, I would pick the Moleskine, there’s just something about it that oozes class. Yes, I’m aware the Piccadilly looks almost the same so my choice is hard to explain, it might be the page color or the way the one I own seems to have a slightly more hand assembled look but the Moleskine simply calls to me more than the cheaper version.
Of course, that’s where the fun stops. Both brands of notebook have some issues with certain fountain pens but the Moleskine has a problem with almost every fountain pen I’ve tried on it. I’ve read that using a Fine or XF nib is the key but I don’t like those, I’m a Medium kind of guy. Seeing how I’m starting to use a lot of other types of pens, I also tried numerous gel pens on the notebook only to find they take forever to dry. What’s the point in using a notebook where any good pen is practically useless?
And then you have the Piccadilly. Noticeably cheaper construction, similar look to the Moleskine, and a paper that, at the very least, dries almost instantly with every gel pen I have tested on it. Several of the fountain pens that would make a feathering mess on Moleskine paper actually work quite well on the Piccadilly. Sure, some very wet pens have a feathering problem but nowhere near as many as the Moleskine. It should be noted that the Sharpie Pen works great with every paper I’ve ever tested but I sort of expected that.
And so I bid farewell to the Moleskine. I needed this notebook to perform yesterday’s Moletape review and now it will be shoved in the dark recesses of my desk never to be called upon again. All the fancy marketing and history can’t overcome the great disappointment these notebooks have been to me. Goodbye Moleskine, the Piccadilly shall take your place and no longer will I have to leave the page open to let my ink dry.