I have recently come to the end of my first one of these. I had written the date in the front, 10 October 2015, so it has lasted me over a year. To give it its full title, this is the A6 Black 300 Page Leatherlook Note Book. It is made in Spain and sold by Paperchase, a chain of stationery shops here in the UK.
However, according to my dictionary, a “leaf” is the term for a portion of a book of which each side is a page. What they should have called this, is a 600 page note book.
600 pages! That is too many to paginate, but also too many not to paginate. I did in fact chose to paginate mine, although this takes a certain amount of fortitude and patience. You might not want to tackle it all in one sitting.
A6 size is approximately 6″ x 4″ or 150mm x 100mm and the book is 25mm thick. The black cover has a pleasant matte, leathery feel and is soft and flexible, like a paperback novel. The paper is white, with squares comprised of pale grey lines (yet on very close inspection these turn out to be more like a blue or purple). The line spacing is a little too narrow for single line writing unless you have very small handwriting but you may write on every other row, to give a generous wide line spacing if preferred.
The best thing about it though, is that the paper is remarkably fountain pen friendly. It is a 70gsm paper, smooth without being overly glossy and does not suffer from feathering or bleed-through. Show-through is minimal and so you can write on both sides and really make use of those 600 pages. For the purpose of this post, I did try using Pelikan Edelstein Tanzanite (which is my “most-prone-to-bleed-through” ink) with a glass dip pen and having shaded a block of six squares in a pool of wet ink, I was able to produce just the beginnings of some bleed-through on the reverse, but you would not do this in normal writing conditions.
The pages (or leaves) appear to be glued rather than stitched, but the binding is strong and after a year’s use I have not had any pages breaking loose. You need to be a little careful not to crack it open too flat but the cover and spine are flexible and floppy. The cover will get a little creased and dog-eared with time. It is a good size to write with, on your knee.
I have enjoyed using it very much. Flicking back through, I see that I used it mostly for sampling various fountain pen and ink combinations, occasionally writing a list of what pens were inked and with which inks, records of purchases at pen shows, music that I had listened to, notes from TV documentaries, names of contestants and their professional dance partners in “Strictly Come Dancing” (doesn’t everyone do that? Oh.), colour samples of inks, doodles and sketches and just gratuitous fountain pen writing for no reason other than the joy and therapy of putting pen to paper.
Once I realised how much I liked this notebook, I went to another branch to buy a spare and was disappointed to find that there was none in stock. I looked on line at Paperchase’s web site and found a statement that it was a favourite but out of stock at that time. They seemed to disappear for a while. Back in the branch last December, I bought the closest equivalent that I could find, which was an Agenzio soft black, ruled notebook, with the same leather-effect cover, sewn (yay!) and with 384 pages, but crucially for me, was not fountain pen friendly and every pen and ink that I tried bled through (with the exception of a Platinum Preppy extra-fine 0.2mm nib with a black cartridge) and so you could not use both sides of the paper with a fountain pen.
I kept an eye open for the 600 page notebook whenever I was in one of their stores and happily, they did reappear in time for me to buy another before finishing my first one. I was so delighted that I bought two of them. And then, inexplicably, another two.
Here are the new notebooks, still with their protective sleeves, next to a Parker IM (new version) which I have included for scale. Keen-eyed readers may recognise that the pen rests are crafted from blocks of sponge which are part of the packaging of Pelikan Edelstein inks.
The notebooks are priced at £7.00. Finally, I have no affiliation with Paperchase (although I spend rather too much time in their shops) and am not paid or compensated in any way for this review. But these are great notebooks. Credit where it is due.