The Moleskine vs The Alwych

By | January 14, 2005

It arrived too late for the column, but there’s an alternative to the Moleskine that has its followers: The Alwych.


The blurb on the website describes the notebook thus:

‘ALWYCH’ books have a unique strong, flexible and highly durable ALL WEATHER cover.
The pages are section sewn for strength, before being welded into the cover.
The ruled pages are printed on light cream paper, this increases the opacity of the pages substantially, compared to ordinary white paper.

Indeed, they are well-crafted and worth a look, though they lack the pocket, the elastic band and the bookmark tag of the Moleskine. They are, however, made in Scotland, which has to be good news. 

12 thoughts on “The Moleskine vs The Alwych

  1. Nick Douglas

    The site is sketchy; a misspelled “from” on the page bottom; a generic order form. I’d like more content. Moleskine is popular because it brands so well. Buying a Moleskine is half pragmatic, half aesthetic, and a dignified web presence enhances that aesthetic.

  2. Andy

    Molesky is not obsessional about the notebooks themselves but about people who use them and Proustian associativeness.

  3. nick sweeney

    “Buying a Moleskine is half pragmatic, half aesthetic, and a dignified web presence enhances that aesthetic.”

    Yes, you’re buying a brand, albeit one with a faked backstory, which makes people who buy into Modo e Modo’s propaganda pretty naive. Jeremy was very good at puncturing this mythos: and I don’t find it particularly ‘dignified’ to name-drop Van Gogh and Hemingway (or even Chatwin, given that ‘le vrai moleskine’ of French origin is extinct).

    And like the Mont Blanc fountain pen, the revived Moleskine has lots of dodgy design issues (not least a choice of paper that doesn’t cope well with FP ink).

    That said, if the Moleskine points people towards better journals and notebooks, such as those made by Clairefontaine or the great Florentine binders, it’s done something right.

  4. Alan Kilpatrick

    Alwych win everytime. The paper is far superior and they are cheaper. Moleskine’s are overpriced and overrated.

  5. Ian Johnstone

    I’m managing director of Alwych Books. We are currently developing a “Super Alwych”. If anyone has any “wish list” items, that would improve our product for you, please let me know. Thanks for your kind comments regarding the books.

  6. Jan

    The elastic band to hold the moleskine closed is its ‘killer feature’ that beats out products which are otherwise better, such as the Alwych. It seems a little thing but it’s what makes the difference – once your hooked…

  7. tony

    Dear Alwych manager: the pocket, the elastic band, and the bookmark all make the moleskine my notebook of choice. The pocket I cannot live without. I’m open to other non-magnetic closures, and the bookmark isn’t absolutely necessary. I am definitely open to notebooks with better paper, less pretense (and thus, price) than the Mole, but the pocket is the dealbreaker.

  8. Adrian Ionescu

    Hello Ian Johnstone,

    I would like to be able to have Alwych notebooks shipped to BC, Canada. Could your website enforce that? I think the quality of the paper and the binding is what makes me choose Moleskine. Thing is, it seems these factors are already covered by your product. Since other features would raise the price. I’d much prefer the standard Alwych, with over 200 pages.

  9. Janine

    Are there any retail outlets in London that sell Alwych stationary? I’ve been using Moleskin notebooks, but would like to check out the Alwych.


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