Tag: paper review

Review: Smells Like Sundays TN-Sized Notebooks

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Saying that I love notebooks is an understatement. I have a lot of notebooks in different shapes and sizes in my office, library, bedroom, bag…you get the idea. I have three different journals at any given time, plus notebooks for other things. I would almost never be caught outside the house without carrying one with me because, well, it just makes sense for me. That being said, premium paper is muy expensivo. Paper lovers are willing to pay this price, though, but being able to find affordable, good paper is always a treat. I wrote a few days ago about how I discovered Smells Like Sundays. I think they sell other stuff too, like coloring books for adults, etc. Their TN-sized notebooks are pretty nice and is priced under P100 each.

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It’s pretty slim, slimmer than Midori TN inserts and the paper is thinner. I didn’t get to count how many pages there are. It’s unbranded and unmarked. It got a little confusing to find the front page until you open it, so I stamped the front of the notebooks that I don’t put inside my TN.

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The craft cover is pretty nice, though they also have black and white covers. These normally come in a set of five different sized journals and two craft pens, but they were nice enough to sell me individual inserts for my travelers notebook. That size is pretty hard to find in bookstores. They’re not as common as A6 an A5 sizes. You can imagine how happy I was to find one journal in a gift pack of 5 that fits my TN perfectly.

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The notebook is very neatly stitch-bound with a thin strip of thread. I tore out pages from my first notebook and the binding didn’t budge at all.

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I use it as my notebook for Sunday sermon notes and daily devotions. It’s not paper that will show off sheen and shading. The pages are too absorbent. They absorb ink as soon as it’s on the surface, but it does show a bit of the ink’s properties. Here are a few close ups of writing samples:

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The paper has some texture to it. I miss that kind of paper. Since I started using fountain pens, I always use fountain pen friendly paper that almost always feel the same. This feels like the old kind of paper that I used to enjoy. It’s pulpy, has a more natural feel to the finish, you can feel the texture of the pages as you write. A closer look shows that it almost feathers, but it doesn’t. Not in a noticeable way, at least. I used a Pelikan M600 with a medium nib that writes more like a BB and a Parker 51 with a medium nib. You can still see the reddish shading of the Syoro, but it’s not so pronounced.

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Here’s the back of the pages. If you look closely, wet writers will produce a bit of bleed through. Little pins of ink that aren’t very noticeable. I can live with that. I think that this quality is really great for the price.

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I hesitate to use expensive paper for things like grocery lists, to-do lists, and such. I would never think of using my precious Tomoe River paper for something other than journal entries and art. That’s why I bought a lot of this, so I can write on nice paper without thinking  ohmygoodnesswhywhywhy while jotting down everyday notes.

This notebook and other sizes are available in craft, black, and white covers at Smells Like Sundays.

Paper Review: Maruman Mnemosyne A5 Grid Notebook

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Here’s something I got as a gift from my brother. It’s a Mnemosyne spiral notebook with grid paper. It’s my first time to try Mnemosyne and I’m pretty satisfied with it, for the most part.

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The cover is hard black plastic, which looks scratch and stain resistant, making it an ideal notebook. Inside is a cardboard flyleaf.

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The paper on this notebook is pretty good. It’s so pleasant to write on because it has this nice feedback. There’s not much coating on it to make it too slippery for ink. Any kind of pen will do well with this kind of paper, I think. Since I favor fountain pens, I immediately put it to the 1.5mm test. Needless to say, it performed very well.

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I like that the paper keeps the vibrancy of the ink even after it has dried for a few days. The paper shows off the shading of the ink so beautifully, but unfortunately it doesn’t play well with sheen or micronized gold particles. Emerald of Chivor looks like a dark blue green color, Stormy Grey is just dark grey. You can probably spot a teeny bit of sparkle there, but it’s negligible. That’s the downside of this paper. It doesn’t showcase the characters of the ink too well, except for the shading.

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It’s pretty resilient to bleed through, though. On a 1.5mm nib with one of my wettest inks, it held up pretty well. The front of the pages are grid-lined, the backs are blank. The pages are also perforated so that you can tear them off neatly if you need to. I like that.

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The verdict…it’s pretty good, if you don’t mind the lack of sheen on sheen-y inks. This is pretty nice to write on, and the paper’s quality feels great. This notebook and a steno version of it is available at pens-galore.com.

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Review: Kokuyo Campus Notebook

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I was looking through a nearby Japanese surplus store in our neighborhood when I saw this notebook along with other piles of notebooks stacked in a corner. I have this habit of buying notebooks even when I don’t need them because…well, who knows when you might need them, right? So I bought one and, fast forward to a few days later, I went back to buy the rest of their stock.

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Kokuyo Campus Notebook looks like something I would have enjoyed back in college. It’s a simple notebook. The cover isn’t very impressive. It looks like something you’d take to school with you (or where you’d scribble down mad ideas and formulas). Definitely not a looker. Also, it’s P40 (a bit less than $1).

For the price of Php40, I was so surprised that the paper was excellent. It was smooth but has some texture to it. It shows the shading of the ink well. There’s also minimal show through and absolutely no bleed through even when I used my 1.5mm nib on it. Here are a few close ups of the writing sample:

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I’d say that’s pretty nice. The per is nicer than some of the journals I bought that are much more expensive. Since I was already in the store, I also bought this cute little pen tray:

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Elias Notebooks’ Newly-Launched Notepads

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I was so excited to learn that Elias Notebooks has finally launched their notepads. I needed something to use for my letter-writing project and I thought that I’d try out their small pads. Turns out they’re the perfect size for correspondences. I got the lined pad and dot grid pads.

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The notepad uses perforated sheets so that it’s easier to tear out. It’s pretty convenient, and the pages tear out easily when I tried it.

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They’re blank on the other side so that it’s more presentable when writing letters. They look very neat when folded up.

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Of course, the paper is wonderfully smooth. It’s the same paper that I enjoy writing on in my journals. If you’re unfamiliar with Elias’ journals, read this review.

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I am looking forward to using this for my letters. I’m happy that Elias came up with these pads and I think it’s a great addition to their product line.

Elias’ notepads are P230 for the small ones and P380 for the large ones. Check out their FB page for more information.

Curnow A5 Tomoe River Paper Journal

Ever since I first heard about Tomoe River paper, I’ve always been curious about it. I heard that there’s no feathering or bleed through even for wet writers, and that the paper is thin and almost like papel de hapon. So when Kailash of Pengrafik.com offered a limited number of journals for sale, I decided I’ll buy a couple so that I can see whether I’ll like it or not.

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148mm x 210mm, 80 pages

The binding is stitched, which I like better than stapled. It looks clean and well-made. The journal is very thin even at 80 pages. The thinness of the paper makes it look more compact, I guess.

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The journal is really simple-looking. Just an ivory-colored cover and plain ivory-colored paper.

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The paper itself is fascinating. It’s so thin, almost like tracing paper. The texture is very pleasant–not completely smooth or waxy, but similar to paper that’s used for certificates, only more porous and finer. Writing on it is an interesting experience too.

I like that it has some feedback, and I like that it really retains much of the vibrancy of the ink so that the colors don’t look washed out after it dries. In fact, it looks much like how it looked while wet. That’s pretty awesome. I am also so relieved that it’s not too slippery or waxy. All my currently inked pens (on the writing sample) wrote on it without any difficulties whatsoever, even my extra fine nibs. Right away, I thought that the texture, the way it held the ink without feathering or bleeding and the thinness of the page would make it a wonderful sketch pad.

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You probably won’t be able to use the other side of the page, though. The writing shows through a lot. Update: After using this journal for both writing and drawing, I realized that the show through is very tolerable. I can write at the back of the pages too, and they’re readable. The more you use this paper, the more it grows on you. It’s kinda hard to explain why something so thin can feel so luxurious. You gotta try it out yourself.