A graphomaniac’s wet dream

At last, Power Books has opened a branch in Cebu. The single storey outlet in the North Wing of SM City Cebu is heaven on a mall for book lovers.

I went to the shop when it opened, fought urges that were bordering on primal, and just checked on books that were on display. There aren’t computer or technology books yet. Members of the Power Books staff said these were still coming.

paperblanks handstitched notebook PAPERBLANKS NOTEBOOK. The pages of this handstitched notebook are acid-free and are held together by coptic binding. Paperblanks and Moleskine products are now available in Cebu, at the Power Books outlet in SM City’s North Wing. Click on photo to enlarge.

Last Sunday, I came back.

The store’s middle counter is a vortex. It drew me in. Around it were displayed several exquisite notebooks. For the first time, Moleskine (official pronounced mol-a-skeen-a) and paperblanks products are sold in Cebu. I went round and round the small counter, picking one notebook after the other.

I wasn’t able to find paperblanks’ back pocket mini, or any of it’s embellished mini notebooks but I got one of its handstitched products, the Handstitched Bamboo. It has as cover the painting “Listening to the Bamboo” by Wen Cheng-ming (1470-1559).

It is exquisite calligraphy for my cacography.

I do not write, I scrawl. My handwriting is so bad and it gets worse when I’m writing fast. At times I, myself, have a hard time deciphering my own interview notes. I guess I compensate for the ugly writing with the beautiful notebooks.

paperblanks handstitched TABULA RASA. A hundred and twenty-eight pages of acid-free, archival paper held together by handstitched coptic binding await my jottings. Click to enlarge.

The notebook is held together by “handstitched coptic binding.” What’s great about it is that the pages are divided into sections, which makes it ideal for segregating notes.

I take notes extensively using a TiddlyWiki or my Scrybe account (if you want a Scrybe invitation, ask for one in my post here). I use these applications to organize online research notes or web clippings.

But for article ideas and plans, I keep paper notebooks handy. Some of my article ideas percolate for weeks as bullet points in my notebooks. Many of them get published as blog posts, when I do find time to write. Some become subjects of my weekly column. Others are shelved for working on later.

Power Books also gives away a well-designed paper organizer if your purchases exceed P2,500 (P2,000 if you have their Powercard). When I leafed through the organizer that my wife and I got with our purchase, I was impressed by the design of the pages. It looked good and I thought it would do well as base for a blog design.

Free organizer from Power Books
FREE ORGANIZER FROM POWER BOOKS. Power Books will give you this beautiful organizer if your purchases reach P2,500 (P2,000 for Powercard holders).

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20 responses

  1. Jamie Durano Avatar
    Jamie Durano

    Glad to hear Moleskine is finally available in Cebu. Factoid: the founder of the world’s biggest Moleskine fan site (www.moleskinerie.com) is a Pinoy from Cebu. Heard that his blog was bought out by the company. Check it out!

  2. Ahhhh, notebooks. You can never have enough.

  3. Max, yup… great news with the opening of Power Books. How much do those notebooks range in prices? Thanks

  4. Jamie,
    Hi. I was pointed to moleskinerie.com by a graphic artist friend who’s now based in the US. He runs a website on Rhodia notebooks: Rhodia Drive. He tells me Rhodia notebooks are even better than Moleskines. I hope Power Books eventually stocks them.

    LOL. You’re right.

    Hi. Moleskines are priced at P900 (pocket reporter). The paperblanks range from P600 to more than a thousand. There are also other notebook types there that start at P500. Are you also fond of notebooks?

  5. HI Max! Thanks for the quick reply. I have a notebook at the office but it’s the ordinary one. But after reading you passionately describe your notebooks (and seeing the photos you posted), I might get one. Will definitely look for that section when I go to Power Books. Thanks, Max!!!

  6. Hi John,
    I went there yesterday 🙂 but I could no longer find Moleskine notebooks, only their planners. There are still a few gorgeous paperblanks notebooks left, including one that has as cover an old world map. It also has coptic binding.

    There’s a more utilitarian one (and much cheaper at P500 plus), it’s a black notebook slightly bigger than a back pocket mini and it has a motorcycle print as cover. The packaging says it’s a good notebook for anything from motorcycle maintenance logs to travel writings.

    You better get there fast, though. I saw two people going through the notebooks yesterday and their thoughts were palpable: “Which one should I buy?” 🙂

  7. Max, wow… that’s fast how the stocks ran out. I think the many people in Cebu who read your blog rushed to Power Books!

  8. hi, sir max! this post is delicious. a friend and i have been planning to go to powerbooks in sm now. only, we have school keeping us from going… i got my 1st moleskines, though. at lasssst! it arrived last night.

    those paperblank notebooks look wonderful, too! and that free organizer! mmmm…

  9. Funny that I was just looking at those black ‘molaskiina’ the other day at Fully Booked in Rockwell Makati! I thought they were too elegant to even host my terrible penmanship!

    But yes, there’s nothing like a pen and paper for ideas. But be sure to put em down as electronically once it gets too big for the notebook. (and yikes, PLUG, Max, Morph Labs of Cebu has a free publishing tool called MorphhelpME).

  10. friarminor,
    I’ve heard about Morph Labs before and have long been interested in the company. I still haven’t tried its products, though, or visited its tech bar.

  11. The tech bar is Macs galore! Drop by for a visit although haven’t been there for some time now as I’m based in Manila. :[

    Good day, Sir!

  12. My only problem with Power Books are the prices of the books they’re selling, which are way too expensive for a student like me. But I’m very happy with the opening of Power Books here in Cebu. I still get to read some new titles there for free! 😀

    A merry Christmas and a happy new year to you and your family sir!


  13. Hi Karlo,
    Ask for an allowance hike from your father 🙂 . Yeah, the books are a bit expensive because these are titles that were previously not available here. But with the strengthening of the peso, it’s now cheap to order books online and have these shipped to Cebu.

  14. passed by your site and decided to check out PowerBooks, didn’t find this type of notebook there but there was another design. I guess all the good ones have been bought. Who new a notebook can cost this much!

  15. Iggy,
    Yes, the only good notebook left is the P1,000-plus paper blanks notebook with an old world map as cover. Sadly, they haven’t re-stocked on notebooks yet.

  16. Hi… so great to find another notebook/journal addict in cebu! i love moleskines, i used to think that its just hype… but once i wrote on the paper.. whoa… i still have to try the rhodia pads though…

    do you read notebookism.com too?

    do check out my flickr for my handmade leather journals and let me know what you think… =)


  17. tschai,
    This http://www.flickr.com/photos/papersandtschai/2249466331/in/set-72157600759897535/ is something I have long been looking for. You have great stuff posted there. Do you have a shop here in Cebu?

  18. hi max…
    i currently dont have a ‘shop’ here in cebu, but my office (sharing an office with my hubby who is an architect) is in guadalupe. the moleskine leather cover you wanted was sold a few months ago, but i can do custom. Most , if not all of my leather stuff is one-of-a-kind and custom made. You are very much welcome to send me emails and perhaps we can do a project together.. =)
    you may email me at
    [email protected]

    by the way, i just read your profile,
    im sure you know a good friend of mine,
    aledel gonzales-cuizon and rene martel?

    hope to hear from you soon!

  19. Tschai,
    Yes, I know Aledel and Rene. Your work is very interesting. I’d like to write about you and your work in the paper and in this blog. Let me pitch the story idea to the Live editor. Will contact you once I have feedback. Thanks!

  20. i have the exact same ‘listening to the bamboo’ notebook ^.^ it’s gorgeous!

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