I'm a writer, and have always been, so I have a lifelong love of writing equipment. Stationary stores draw me in. New school supplies was always more exciting for me in September than new clothes.
But life can dull you down a bit, and take away those simple joys. The "school supplies" no longer come from the stationary aisle, they are now a laptop and a pda, and they are cold lifeless tools, like a screwdriver or a pot scrubber. Worse, they are always experiencing some sort of technical difficulty - they are not *your* tool, you, you may sometimes feel, are their tool.
But Moleskine makes a line of notebooks that taps that school supply joy, in adults. They come in various sizes, hard and soft cover, ruled and graphed and plain and storyboarded. Vertical and horizontal. Mine is the Pocket Notebook with plain paper. This is a hardcover notebook about the length of a pen, with bookmark string thing, attached elastic to keep it shut, and a pocket in the back cover. Inside the pocket are, well all kinds of things now, but when it was new it came with marker stickers. See my photo. The notebook is thread bound, the pages acid-free. All these features are why it is 16 or 17 dollars most places.
But the notebook also has an unnameable quality, perhaps it comes from its illustrious past as the tool of legendary artists such as Vincent Van Gogh (check out the photo of his Moleskine, now housed in a museum, on the company's website). It makes you want to write. I suppose that's worth 16 or 17 bucks.