I ordered a few of the new Moleskine Reporter’s notebooks and a pack of Cahiers, and they arrived today. I’m thinking these will probably be the last Reporter-style note books I will buy. While I love the vertical format in principal, this implementation of it just doesn’t work very well.
The Reporters are exactly what the Moleskine web site says they are – regular Moleskine notebooks turned on their sides and bound across the top. The binding doesn’t really encourage flipping the cover back such that you end up with a two-sided writing pad ala a steno pad. To find out, try to do the same thing with a regular notebook, they have the exact same binding 😉 The pocket in the back is the same as well, although it’s shorter than full depth, as it would have to be to keep things from disappearing in there.
I love the vertical format, but I’m a write-on-both-sides-of-each-page kind of guy, and this book doesn’t really encourage that. It’s also a bit wider than it should be – I think 3” would be a better width, and it certainly it would fit into a shirt pocket better. Last but not least, I don’t quite understand why, but having the band across the bottom is a real pain. I don’t know if it’s just my neural programming colliding with reality, or what, but it sure seems awkward.
The quality is perfect, as you’d expect – no complaints there.
As for the Cahiers, they’re pretty much what I expected: A very utilitarian saddle-stitched booklet with a sort-of pocket flap in the back. Thin, flexible, and a small enough number of pages that it will probably fill up before you can destroy it through abuse. I’ve left them in the shop, but they may migrate to my bag. A vertical format in this style would probably be more useful than the traditional Moleskine binding.
I haven’t bought any new Moleskines in a long time, so this may be terribly old news, but these notebooks came with post cards. One per notebook or pack of book where they come in threes. There distinctive, if not really exciting – you can see #1 of 9 in the photo – it’s orange. 8 of 9 is black. They have a single quote on one side, with the usual black on white postcard stuff on the other side. I’m guessing that numbering them was their attempt to make them collectible.