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~Which pocket ruled notebook?~ I should start by saying that the listing of this item as a "Pocket Ruled Notebook" is somewhat ambiguous because Moleskine make a number of different TYPES of ruled notebooks in pocket size. I'm going to take my lead from the photograph that's added with the listing which is a Moleskine Volant Pocket Ruled Notebook but I can imagine that others may choose to use the same listing for the hard backed standard pocket notebooks. ~Spoilt for Choice~ The iconic Moleskine notebook, the one that everyone (at least everyone who knows them)instantly recognises, is the black or red pocket sized hard back one. This is the notebook that launched the legend of Moleskine but legends don't keep your workforce fed and your customers coming back for more-more-more. Sensibly the nice folk at Moleskine recognised that you won't keep building your business if you just sell the 'same old same old' year after year. Not everyone wants hard back notebooks, some people just aren't 'hard back' types of people. For those folk they offer some flexible soft-backed options. The one which seems to be popular with my colleagues who have - as my mother would put it - more money than sense, is the Classic soft cover format, a soft back with the pocket in the back and the elastic closure strap. This offers all the functionality of a standard Moleskine but in a bendy body. Then there's the 'Cahier' an elastic free upgrade of your old school exercise books. All of these tend to come in rather dull, sensible fairly grown up colours. If you love Moleskine but you want a bit more colour and pizzazz in your life, then you're going to need the Volant, Moleskine's fashionable, funky little notebooks. ~One for the Ladies~ My guess would be that the Volant range is targeted to younger consumers and probably those who lack the Y chromosome. These are girly Moleskines and none more so that the ones I buy which come in a two-pack of pale and deep pink. Volants come in a variety of sizes from tiny little extra smalls to whopping great extra large ones but I buy the pocket size. Looks can be deceptive and I always had the impression that the pocket Volant was larger than the pocket standard hard back notebooks but they are actually the same size, 9 cm by 14 cm , but the Volant just LOOKS bigger because it's so much thinner. Volants miss two of the key things you'll find in a standard Moleskine and these are the stretchy elastic closure and the pocket in the back for keeping odds and ends. A Volant is a much simpler beast than its more highly specified cousins. I have the Volant in both plain and ruled pages and I prefer the plain because the line spacing at 6 mm is too narrow for my handwriting. Volants are slim notebooks and offer just 76 pages compared to 192 pages in a standard hardback. I guess that's why they're sold in packs of two. If you are looking for maximum pages per pound, then you'll not want to go with these skinny little books but if you are sick of carrying around notebooks that are much too thick for the job, then they may well be perfect. I've used the standard Moleskines for my holiday notes and then found that I've barely filled half a book in two week and I'm left with the decision of whether or not to take them away again and - horror of horrors - run the risk of losing the records of the first trip if anything should happen to the notebook. I prefer now to use a slim Volant for any trip of up to a week since there's less waste and they are so thin that they slide easily into the back pocket of my camera bag, barely even making a bump. ~Specifications~ I'm not sure how to describe the material used for the covers of the Volants. I suspect it's the same as the standard notebooks but just much more colourful. It's not - and my thanks go to Kukana for this lovely image - made from the skin of moles. It's a wipe clean, hard-wearing plasticky-coated flexible card. Inside the pages have been stitched together firmly but if you're the kind of person who's likely to need to rip out a page to give someone your email address, phone number or draw a map to guide them to the Taj Mahal, then the last 16 pages of each Volant are perforated and detachable. How cool is that? Familiar features which Moleskine regulars will recognise include the annoying little insert pamphlet about the history of the company and the very handy address panel on the first page where you can tell someone who finds your notebook how to get it back to you. As I already said, no pocket in the back, no elastic closure - just a pared down and minimalist slim notebook. Colour is what sets these apart from their more conventional cousins. Each pack of two contains Volants in different but related colours and a total of eight different colourways are available. I go for the pink (light and dark) but you the full range includes two tone versions in black, blue, green, pink, sky blue, red, grey or purple unless you opt for extra large where the black and grey versions are missing from the range. Paper options are plain or lined. The paper quality is Moleskine's standard fine quality super-smooth paper which is always a delight to write on. ~Prices~ List price for a twin-pack of my preferred pocket size is £7.99 but you can snap them up on Amazon (other good online book sellers are available) for between £5 and £6 depending on colour and specific seller. Play your cards right and you can get a couple of packs online for what a standard Moleskine notebook would cost you in a chain book store such as Waterstones or WH Smith. In summary if you want a colourful slim notebook that's small enough to take anywhere, built to the highest quality and guaranteed to represent just a little bit of pleasure in your everyday life, then Volants might just be for you. If you want all the bells and whistles of the iconic standard Moleskine, then you risk disappointment. Everyone should have a Moleskine but not everyone will love the same types. Volants are a useful alternative to their more staid and conventional stable-mates.
Quality ruled notebook with acid-free paper.