It’s OK To Be A Tool

Published October 1, 2009 by Molly

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Tools are important in any trade. How would Max make mischief without his crown? How would Mark Gonzales skate without a skateboard? How would Dave Eggers write without a pen?

Which brings us to our current fascination: tools of the writing trade. When it comes to utensils, not any old thing will do. Every writer has his preference, whether it be a razor-sharp No. 2 pencil or a promotional ballpoint pen. There’s also, and more interestingly, the matter of a notebook. (We’ll leave computers aside for the moment- that’s geek stuff.)

The most reliable pads for scribbling are those with a sturdy cover, a good thick page and a variety of sizes from which to choose. For this reason, Rhodia is a crucial outfitter to know about. The French notebook company produces its tangerine-colored books in all sizes, with skinny reporter pads and thick lined notebooks and tiny pads the size of a few squares of chocolate. Have you ever seen a Rhodia display? It makes you want to forsake baseball cards for good and start collecting notebooks.

Battling Rhodia for prominence in the “classic notebook” category isĀ  Moleskine, which makes those stylish little companions that come with their own bookmark and a slip of paper announcing that the notebook is an old favorite of Van Gogh, Picasso, Hemingway and Chatwin (who is Chatwin?). Toting a Moleskine is always a slight risk, since everyone and their mom is a fan and it’s pretty easy to get yours mixed up with someone else’s if you happen to leave ‘em in the same place.

But no matter. A good tool is a good tool, and these two notebooks are the cream of the crop. Go forth and fill them.

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6 comments so far

  1. I have been hooked on the Moleskine-esque:

  2. Cam says:

    Field Notes would definitely be a worthy 3rd entry in the notebook wars.

  3. Bert Bacchus says:

    I’ve tried the Field Notes multiple times and love them but they just aren’t as sturdy as the Moleskines. I keep them in my back pocket and the staple saddle stitch can’t hold up over time. The stitched saddle-stitch of Moleskines make them supreme in my opinion. The last quarter of the book is perforated too for notes, numbers, and origami.

    And Chatwin is Bruce Chatwin I presume, the legendary travel writer.

  4. jonjohnson says:

    I second Iain’s suggestion of Field Notes. Love them. Just about to start using one of my summer special edition Grass Green letterpressed cover books. Excited.

  5. Henry says:

    My job at a custom play structure company requires me to be in “the field” a lot. I used the Moleskine for years, but recently gave it up for the Field Notes notebook. I usually keep a notebook in my back pocket and the Field Notes fit perfectly. They hold up nicely too.