In this 4K video I review the Katie Leamon Lay-Flat notebook. This notebook features 300 pages of fountain pen friendly 100GSM paper and is made in the England.
In this 4K video I review the Kokuyo Century Edition Notebook. This beautiful notebook celebrates Kokuyo’s 100th anniversary and features an excellent fountain pen friendly paper called CYO-BO.
In this 4K video I review the Yoseka Stationery Notebook. This Taiwanese notebook features a unique fountain pen friendly paper called KBU2.
In this 4K video I review the Book Note Notebook made by Watanabe Book Binding Co. in Tokyo, Japan. This notebook is handmade and features an ultra flexible binding that allows it to be folded 360 degrees.
In this 4K video I review the Red by Black n’ Red A5 Hardcover notebook. This notebook features Black n’ Red’s 90 gsm Optik Paper, a high quality bright white paper as well as an excellent lay flat binding.
Red by Black n’ Red – https://amzn.to/2EVRTD1
Casebound Black n’ Red A4 Notebook – https://amzn.to/2EUKDYd
In this video I review the Lamy Hardcover Notebook in the A5 size. This notebook has excellent quality fountain pen friendly paper and a unique Lamy rule.
Lamy A5 Hardcover Notebook – https://amzn.to/3eeqqrR
This video is NOT sponsored.
Some product links are affiliate links which mean if you buy something I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.
———Cameras and Gear Used To Shoot This Video ——-
Gmund is one of the best paper manufacturers in Europe and while I don’t see many “Gmund” branded products, their paper is often a top choice for use in custom stationery and correspondence as well as high end business brochures and packaging.
Gmund is based in Gmund am Tegernsee, Germany and can trace it’s roots back to 1829. With over thirty product lines (each with numerous variations) there is a wide variety of offerings, everything from the high-tech to the traditional.
The book I am reviewing today is the Bavarian Book with the Vichy-Deer pattern. The linen fabric on the cover is supposed to resemble a fabric that would be used on a Dirndl (a traditional Bavarian dress).
The notebook is an A5 size with 120 blank pages (60 leafs) that are held together with a sewn binding. The softcover is flexible and the linen fabric provides a nice tactile feel.
The Gmund logo is debossed on the back of the cover.
The bright white pages are pretty thick (thicker than 80 GSM Rhodia paper) and hold fountain pen ink well with almost no ghosting. I did notice a hint of bleed-through with the ultra wide 2.4mm Pilot Parallel but for any normal point you should be just fine.
The binding is quite good and with a little use lies flat (as you can see in the pictures).
The design and feel of this notebook are standouts for me and a welcome change from the wonderful Japanese books I have been using a lot lately. The neon green deers, bookmark, and pastedown are great accents to the grey vichy (gingham) cover and bright white pages.
The Bavaria Book costs about $14 and can be purchased at Gmund’s website. Shipping is from Germany and although it isn’t too expensive, it did persuade me to order a few extra things that I will be reviewing in the coming weeks.
Stálogy is a stationery brand that isn’t particularly well known outside of Japan. They have only been around for a few years and while their line is small, they produce unusually well-executed products.
The #018 Editor’s Series 365 Days Notebook (yes, that’s a mouthful) caught my attention with it’s detailed half jacket that highlights its unique features.
When I picked up the sample notebook the first thing I noticed was how thin the pages were. Packing 368 pages (184 sheets) into a 14mm thick notebook is impressive. For comparison, my favorite Kokuyo Century Edition notebook only fits 140 pages (70 sheets) into 11mm and with a little bit of math at 14mm the Kokuyo would only hold 178 pages; that’s less than half the Stálogy.
The next thing I noticed was the thirty dollar price tag, yikes! Naturally I convinced myself into buying it; I mean, it has double the pages so really thirty bucks isn’t that bad…right?
Apart from the thin pages this notebook features a free daily dairy. The top of each page lists months, days of the week, and numbers 1-31 so that you can highlight or circle the appropriate date. The 4mm grey grid has the numbers 0-24 printed on every other line; this is a 24 hour timeline.
I found the calendar to be unobtrusive when I just wanted to take notes but also quite useful when I wanted to keep track of my day.
The paper’s performance was very good but being so thin there are some limitations. I would consider this to be fountain pen friendly paper though with my wider nibs I did notice some bleeding and on the really wide 2.4mm nib on my Pilot Parallel there was feathering.
There is also some show through. It’s not as bad as you get on Tomoe River paper but it’s noticeable.
With the stitched binding, flexible spine and tiny signatures there is no denying that this is a very high quality notebook, one that warrants its high price.
Would I buy another one? For home use there are other notebooks I like better (like the Kokuyo I mentioned above) but if I wanted to carry a lot of pages in a small package this could be a very good choice.
I questioned posting a review of this notebook for a number of reasons. First, I knew it would be challenging to write a review without any dreadful jokes; second, while the product is technically charitable and green it’s borderline distasteful and third, it’s actually quite disgusting. I didn’t think I would be grossed out by this notebook but I was and if you think you might be too there no harm in skipping this post. Bearing all of this in mind let’s get on with the review.
PooPooPaper (FKA: The Great Elephant Poo Poo Paper Company) is a company that turns animal poo into paper. They started with elephant poo and expanded the line the include dung from cows, pandas, donkey, moose and horse. Their web shop actually lets you shop products by poop type.
Their products are green because they are recycled and a portion of the proceeds goes to support animal conservation efforts. The notebook came with a very long pamphlet all about their product (and yes, it’s full of poop jokes).
The paper itself is quite strange. The front feels like a paper bag and the back feels like (and sort of looks like) a paper towel in texture.
The paper is a cream color but it’s not uniformly so; you can see different sorts of fibers that stand out on the page and are a bit distracting to look at. It is also lumpy in spots; I found dead bugs and gross unidentifiable material in the paper (I chose to exclude the pictures from the post).
It’s a very absorbent but fountain pen ink tends to bleed and feather. It’s not a nice paper to write on. It’s rough and probably not safe to use with fountain pens.
The notebook measures 8″ x 7.75″ and contains 20 blank pages for $16.99. The notebook itself is nicely put together but the paper is terrible to write on and to look at. This notebook is disgusting in my opinion and if you want to help conserve wildlife there are much nicer ways to go about it.
For those unfamiliar, Romeo is Itoya’s store brand and under than name they sell pens and pen related items. The products I have seen bearing the Romeo name are all of very high quality unlike typical store brand products.
The Romeo A5 spiral notebook is designed for use with fountain pens and even has a nib and ink bottle embossed in gold leaf on the textured black cover. The interior contains 70 sheets of cream colored paper with a grey ruling and a rather precise 102.9 g/m² weight. This is heavy weight paper and by comparison Rhodia’s paper is only 80 g/m².
As you would imagine that paper handles fountain pen ink link a champion. There was no bleed through in my test and only some minor feathering. Compared to other papers/notebooks I have tested this one is one of the best in terms of ghosting; there is almost none to speak of.
The paper is smoother than Rhodia’s, so if you like a lot of feedback, steer clear. I normally prefer a bit of feedback but it is nice to have a Rolls-Royce smooth ride every once in a while. I like to pair this paper with my fine and extra fine nibs as it makes them feel smoother than normal.
The double spiral binding is made out of brass wire and feels quite sturdy as does the stiff 600 g/m² cover.
This is a great notebook that I have been enjoying using. They cost only 800YEN (or about $6.5USD these days) and for that price you get a lot of notebook. They also come in blank and grid versions and I have seen them for sale on Rakuten (no affiliation).