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Cahier: The Honda Accord of Moleskines


Moleskine Cahier Extra Large Notebooks, MoleskineUS    


                Just received my first test shipment of the new Moleskine Cahier notebooks from Moleskine US. I’ll write a fuller review when I’ve had a chance to use them more, but here’s a few quick impressions.    

  •             First things first. Say: “kä-y"'"        
  •             I think the Cahiers represent a satisfying middle ground between the premium Classic Moleskines and the modestly priced soft-cover Volants. (Update, 2005-02-24 08:20:02: Nutty me. The Cahiers and Volants are the same price. Cool.)        
  •             I could see these being great to take to meetings or to throw in a light back pack for the weekend. They’re elegant, but substantial in feel, and are moderately priced (as Moleskines go).        
  •             Cahiers are available in three sizes: Pocket, Large, and Extra Large. Yep. If you’ve been craving a fuller-sized Moleskine page, the XL is a roomy 9.75" x 7.5". About the size of an old-school composition book (Do kids still use those?)        
  •             At all sizes, the notebooks come in a set of three.        
  •             All models of the notebook have visible stitch binding on the spine that looks very cool and is reminiscent of stitched leather—maybe a bit like Doc Martens.        
  •             The cover stock is a smooth, medium-weight, matte cardboard available in black or “buff" (cardboard color). It’s rugged enough to ride in a briefcase, but will not be mistaken for titanium; it will tear if you really go at it.        
  •             I like the “buff" color better. You can doodle on it, just like in 4th Grade (“I ? Kate Jackson…Dr. & Mrs. Kate Jackson....")        
  •             Although the cover is not rigid enough to use as a steady writing surface, the binding makes it easy to double the cover back, increasing its stability for jotting without a desk.        
  •             The paper quality is quite nice. In all three sizes, the recto is noticeably smoother than the verso, which is kind of interesting.        
  •             The pages are a bit translucent, making words from one page slightly visible through the preceding one. (a Sharpie Ultra Fine produced writing that was clearly visible on the obverse side, but did not stain through to the next sheet)        
  •             With a little light pressing, the Large and Extra Large books will lay almost perfectly flat on any page.        
  •             The last 16 pages of each notebook (including the pocket size) are lightly perforated, so they can be removed without tearing. (Thank you!)        
  •             The pocket in the back is really more like a flap. It’s handy but you won’t be able to fit much in there, including—inexplicably—a full perforated page. I also wouldn’t exactly trust it to carry my German bearer bonds to the mall.        
  •             The overall feel of the notebook is light—and I mean that in the best possible way. They’re just very not bulky in a way that the Classic Moleskine can sometimes be—especially when carried in a small bag, purse, or pocket.        


        Recommended: I’d go with the Extra Large ruled. It’s got a nice big writing surface, and the dusty off-white pages look lovely. The Large unlined is a champ too; mine’s black and quite handsome. I like the portability of the Pocket size, but I need to try it out more to see if it would ever displace the Hipster PDA. (Not bloody likely.)    


        Not recommended for: Very modest budgets; Classic Moleskine snobs; people fond of saying “It’s just a notebook, d00d!!1!"; artists doing ink sketching; military strongmen with a price on their head.    


        Like I say, I’ll probably write more later when I’ve done some road testing. But, if you like the high-quality feel of Moleskine products and are intimidated by carrying a 1/2-inch thick book, you might want to give the Cahiers a spin.    


  •             Moleskine US, Cahier Notebooks             
    •                     Extra Large size (7.5 by 9.75 inches)                
    •                     Large size (5.25 by 8.25 inches)                
    •                     Pocket size (3.5 x 5.5 inches)                


        Disclosure/Hat Pass: As ever, Moleskine US purchases made via 43 Folders help support the maintenance and growth of our family of sites. Thanks.Merlin    

Merlin's picture

Also, Steve, in the "regular"...

Also, Steve, in the "regular" Moleskines, there's a big difference between "plain" and "sketch"--the former is regular old silky, thinish paper, and the latter is a good deal thicker.

Sketch is good if you're definitely drawing, but I'd go with plain since it gets you more pages (240 pp. v. 100 pp.).




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