Moleskines in general

I've got my modified Pocket Reporter Moleskine, and I have a few questions about it.

1. Specks of white stuff tend to get stuck in the 'grain' the the cover material on my Moleskine. Will these lessen the life span of said Moleskine? And is there any way to clean a Moleskine?

2. Are there any 'safe' stickers out there for Moleskines? Ones that won't harm the cover, and stay on for good? Or can I just use any sort of stickers I want?

Thanks for your help!

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I can't address point 1, except to say that the act of opening and closing your Moleskine and the passage of time will both cause your Moleskine to weaken at the stress points--particularly the folds. You should not expect "forever" out of something you use every day, all day, constantly.

On point 2, I can tell you some likely candidates for safety and some I'm positive are not safe. Basically, if you're worried about hanging on to your book for, say, five years, you'll want to be careful what sort of stickers you pick. If you're worried about just one year of use, then it's not as important. Fifty years and you have to be careful about the pen you use in it, washing your hands, and other things you probably don't think about when writing on paper.

Not Safe: Anything made from an Avery (or other brand) label that you print yourself. The glue on address labels, for example, goes greasy after a while and the adhesive lets go, leaving a residue behind. Inkjet ink is not archival unless you're buying archival ink, which is going to be expensive compared to the regular stuff. All inkjet inks fade over time, too. Laser toner is also not archival. I don't know what it is about it that breaks down, but I'm pretty sure it's not going to last those 50 years without serious care and attention. So don't go the print-yourself route unless you only want the sticker to stay on for a brief period.

Possibly safe: stuff you find in the scrapbooking section of the craft store that says "Acid free, Lignin free, Archival". This probably won't damage your book by its presence, but I can't vouch for the permanence of the adhesive.

Other possible choices: check out the adhesives in the scrapbooking section, as well as plain papers in both the scrapbook area and the artist papers area. You could, for example, draw your own sticker by painting a watercolor image on good paper, then sticking it to your cover with the scrapbooking adhesive. Not sure how well that would work, I'm not sure what Moleskine covers are made from.

Before you go too far, think about what the real life span of your book will be. If it lasts a year and then crumbles to dust, is that a problem? I can guarantee you that your interests and priorities will change rapidly over the next five years, so you might consider removable media if you want your Moleskine to endure through all those changes.

Anyway, I might be the only one here who thinks this way, but I find the concept of stickers and permanence in the same sentence a little funny. I had a marvelous collection of stickers for a while. I loved them. They were beautiful. In 8th grade I had a sticker holder, of all the funny organizers. Pockets for the unused ones, spots to stick the very best ones. Some of them went greasy and fell off after a while, some stuck so well there was no prying them off if my life depended on it. Some faded, or the ink rubbed off. By the time I graduated high school, the thing was in the trash bin along with the used and unused stickers within. The subjects of the stickers no longer formed a significant part of my interest. I had the same issue with pins and buttons--pins with images or messages, logos or photos or drawings. The message I thought was witty in college now seems trite or obvious or foolish. Everything changes.

Now maybe my greybeard is showing. "In my day..." :)

My suggestion would be to not get too wrapped up in the concept of permanence. Try to avoid the obvious gotchas, like inkjet printed address labels, but don't worry too much about it lasting forever. In a year or two, you'll have some other image or witticism to put on the cover, or the book will have worn out from heavy use, or the book will have found its way to the trash from disuse.

Make your book suitable for NOW and when it's given the last full measure of devotion, make another. :)


I forgot to mention that I

I forgot to mention that I just use it as a case for my 3x5 cards.

xDDDD Opps.

And thanks for your help.