Gfeller Casemakers Moleskine Leather Cover Review

Molesine Pocket Notebook In Gfeller Casemaker Case

I carry my Moleskine Pocket Sketchbook with me every day, and by the time I am done filling the notebook and move on to the next, I have usually stuffed it full with clippings, curled pages, photos and other detritus of life. The binding is swollen from all that extra bulk, and the book is usually starting to come loose at the binding. I needed a way to keep my notebooks in better shape for the 6 to 8 months that they travel with me, as I fill them up. I have tried various covers and ways to protect the binding and the book itself, but so far nothing has been a perfect fix for my problem.

I have experimented with making my own covers, but this new cover from Gfeller is the best solution that I have found. I will tell you up front that they are not cheap. I debated buying mine for several years because of the price, but I finally decided to spend the $75 and buy one, and I am very happy with the slip cover. I admit, I was somewhat surprised at how thick my Moleskine became when I put the case on, it adds a certain bulk that wasn’t apparent from the photos that I looked at online before buying. The English kip leather that they use for these cases is very durable and though each layer is very thin, by the time you add up the outer casing, and the inner lining, that adds 4 layers of leather to the thickness of the notebook when closed. My Moleskines are usually quite stuffed already, and so they can get very chunky.

Moleskine in Gfeller Casemaker Case 3

The construction of the cover is very detailed, I searched in vain to find where the stitching begins or ends, there are no sharp edges or rough places, it has been carefully made, and very well designed. The inner flaps extend beyond the outer edges so that there is no bump to write over, and the slot cut into the leather so that the elastic strap can still be functional is perfect.
Moleskine In Gfeller Casemaker Case2The leather was very pale and almost cream colored when I first received it, but over the past few weeks I have noticed it turning steadily darker to a middle caramel color right now, and according to Gfeller, it will continue to darken with more exposure to UV light, which certainly won’t be a problem in Florida! I also expect the soft leather to conform to the edges of the Moleskine, and take on a distinct character.

I like objects that wear well, and take on a unique patina with use, much like how a good pair of leather boots become comfortable and well worn with use, I expect to have this cover for many many years. Who knows what adventures it will be a companion on? A Moleskine wrapped in leather like this seems like just the thing that Indiana Jones would carry with him on his journeys. Its rugged and functional -which are the attributes that I respect most in the things that I enjoy owning.   EJH

Moleskine In Gfeller Casemaker Case

Ode To The Composition Book


The lowly school composition book, the simple tool that has been used by so many.

A few days ago I picked up a $1 marbled composition book to record the progress of a current project, and upon picking it up, I was flooded with memories, it brought me back to my school days.
That black and white marbled cover and familiar size, the single signature of pages, and the cheap, but sturdy construction is unchanged in the 15 years since I last held one.

I have been into the whole ‘Moleskine thing’ for about 7 or 8 years now, and have looked down on the cheaper notebooks as inferior, but perhaps that is just pride, after all it is what is inside that counts.

I chose this one specifically because it was cheap, I wanted to use it to record notes on a messy experiment, and knew it would get wet, and smudged, so I didn’t want to put one of my precious Moles through that, but I wonder if that desire to keep my notes clear and clean and precise is a downfall?
When I first started to use the Moleskines, I only had one size: the pocket size, and I carried it with me everywhere. I put it in my back pocket, and sat on it, I had it with me every day I was working in dirty wet conditions, and the edges would get wet, and the ink would run. Just about the time I filled one up, it would start to come apart. Those first 3 or 4 Moleskines are ragged and torn, the covers are stuck on with gorilla tape, and the markers are frayed.

Now I have a bit more sedate life, and more of a clean work environment, I also don’t carry my moles in my pocket, but rather in my bag (which is always with me) and so they are in much better shape when I am done with them.
Conversely, I don’t use them as much; having them closer to my hand makes me more likely to use them in the few moments I have standing in line, than if I have to unzip my bag, and then open my pen case. Now I tend to use my notebooks for longer stretches, but the tendency to just fill them with instant inspiration is gone.
Now when I am waiting in line, I reach for my iPhone instead.

These lowly composition books are really jewels in a way that Moleskines can never be. Because they are cheap and readily available, the bar is set low, and there is no hesitation to use them.
I won’t stop using my Moleskines, as they are a wonderful tool that I have grown quote attached to, but I intend to get a few more of these ordinary cheap little books, and I intend to use them.

-Ezra Hilyer