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My Ritual Gift

October 2010

By Alexander von Mollard, Berlin

The Christmas gift I would be very disappointed not to receive this year is my favorite Moleskine notebook. The Moleskine is fashioned from a brief description of handmade Parisian 19th century artists’ sketchbooks that author Bruce Chatwin gave in his 1986 novel Songlines. Relaunched in Milan in 1997, its design and function are similar to those agendas. Bounded in coated paper cardboard, with an elastic band to hold it closed, the design hardly varies. Its rather bohemian attitude is derived from the urban myth that Oscar Wilde, Hemingway and Picasso used the same brand.

My first one came as a small sketchbook, nowadays I’m more into the statement-sized calendar books. To me it’s a symbol of storing either ideas or reminiscences immediately while being on the subway or sitting in a café. Beside my keys, glasses, wallet and iPhone, it is my most faithful companion when out and about in the city. I use it to collect flyers, business cards, receipts or bon mots. I hardly use it for business, more as a diary or a mojo.

Christmas wouldn’t be the same without it. There’s always a person in my family that knows my liking and gifts it to me without being asked. I like this sort of “ritual gift” a lot as I have a rack full of these books that illustrate my recent years. This year there will be a “30 Years of Pacman” Limited Edition Moleskine. I can’t wait to find that under the tree!

Design & Luxury

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