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Composition Book Recommendations?


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15 replies to this topic

#1 OakIris

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 13:19

As usual I am probably putting the cart before the horse! I have found a leather cover I like and now I need to find something to put in it! Having recently purchased a journal because I liked the way the cover looked, only to find that the paper inside it was a big disappointment, I thought I had better check here on FPN for paper recommendations before buying the cover...

I would like to get one of the composition book leather covers from Renaissance Art - Composition Book Covers The cover is relatively affordable, I like the way it looks, and I have read a lot of very positive reviews about the leather work from this company.

Now I need to find a fountain pen friendly, locally available composition book - i.e., something that can be obtained from Office Depot, Office Max, Staples, etc., not something that I need to go to a specialty art store for or order on line. I know that there are folks here that use composition books for their journals, etc., and look forward to hearing what is recommended.

(I realize there are other paper threads here on FPN that mention the use of composition books, but I wanted to start a thread that only has to do with composition book recommendations and does not include information about other inexpensive paper, notebooks, notepads, etc., that are great for fountain pens.)

Holly

Edit - I posted this in the wrong forum! :embarrassed_smile: This was not supposed to be in the review forum. Mods, please move this to the Paper & Pen Paraphernalia forum. Sorry about that!

Edited by OakIris, 28 April 2012 - 16:36.


#2 EnviroDAWG2

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 14:30

Bagasse composition books from Staples are FP friendly and compatible with many FP inks.

#3 Octo

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 15:08

Be aware that composition books come in two different, but similar, sizes and be sure to get one that will fit into your cover.

Composition books with paper made is Brazil have FP friendly paper and if you look, you can find either wide or college rulings. Norcom brand is most available. Prices range from $0.25 to $3.75 depending on when and where you purchase them, style of cover, line spacing, etc. They are least expensive about the time school starts, especially at places like WalMart.

Staples composition books made of Bagasse are also very good, especially if the printed lines are nice and thin, not fuzzy.

#4 Fiddlermatt

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 15:18

Be aware that composition books come in two different, but similar, sizes and be sure to get one that will fit into your cover.

Composition books with paper made is Brazil have FP friendly paper and if you look, you can find either wide or college rulings. Norcom brand is most available. Prices range from $0.25 to $3.75 depending on when and where you purchase them, style of cover, line spacing, etc. They are least expensive about the time school starts, especially at places like WalMart.

Staples composition books made of Bagasse are also very good, especially if the printed lines are nice and thin, not fuzzy.


Norcom brazil paper is absolutely fountain pen friendly. Now might be the time to buy though, my local walmarts seem to have switched over to "Made in USA" norcoms, and I don't know if the paper is as good.
Wanting to trade for samples of fountain pen friendly legal pad paper.

#5 OakIris

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 16:43

Thank you for your responses! I will look into the suggested products - and thank you for letting me know about the size differences, Octo. I will see what size book Renaissance says fits their cover.


I realized when I couldn't find my post it was because I had posted in the wrong forum - I did not mean to start this thread in the reviews forum. :blush: Hopefully one of our kind mods will move it to the correct forum!


Holly

#6 KrazyIvan

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 17:10

I found some at my local dollar store that handle fountain pen ink very good. They are made in India. They work even better than the one I found at Target.

#7 Tweel

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 17:13

Norcom brazil paper is absolutely fountain pen friendly. Now might be the time to buy though, my local walmarts seem to have switched over to "Made in USA" norcoms, and I don't know if the paper is as good.

When I picked up a stack last Fall, my local store had Brazilian books, but they were outnumbered by ones from the US, Vietnam and India, all of which felt and looked rough and unpromising. I simply picked through the stacked cases to get what I wanted, while dodging the shoulder-checks of harried mothers.

If you can't find composition books that were made in Brazil, see if there are any made in Indonesia -- that source seems to be using very FP-friendly sizing and smooth pulp lately.

* * * "Don't neglect to write me several times from different places when you may."
-- John Purdue (1863)


#8 jameswatts

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 17:45

I have that Renaissance Art composition book cover -- in wintergreen, a lovely dark green. The Staples Sustainable Earth (the bagasse/sugarcane paper) books fit it well -- the first one will probably be a little snug, but it will fit. That is what I have in the cover now, and the paper is very friendly to fountain pens -- there is a bit of show-through, but not enough that it bothers me. My only complaint is that i wished they made it in quadrille (graph paper).

I like the cover much better than the one I received as a gift from Levenger, which is nice, but stiff and oversized. The Renaissance fits the composition book like a glove, the Levenger cover almost swallows the book, and when you open it flat (it cannot be folded back, so you HAVE to open it flat) it looks to be about a yard wide.

#9 Lloyd

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 18:34

You see this sale and contact the member.
"Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination."
Oscar Wilde

#10 Sailor Kenshin

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 19:01

I found some at my local dollar store that handle fountain pen ink very good. They are made in India. They work even better than the one I found at Target.


I second that emotion, and haunt the dollar store in hopes of finding more.

#11 OakIris

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 19:24

I have that Renaissance Art composition book cover -- in wintergreen, a lovely dark green. The Staples Sustainable Earth (the bagasse/sugarcane paper) books fit it well -- the first one will probably be a little snug, but it will fit. That is what I have in the cover now, and the paper is very friendly to fountain pens -- there is a bit of show-through, but not enough that it bothers me. My only complaint is that i wished they made it in quadrille (graph paper).

I like the cover much better than the one I received as a gift from Levenger, which is nice, but stiff and oversized. The Renaissance fits the composition book like a glove, the Levenger cover almost swallows the book, and when you open it flat (it cannot be folded back, so you HAVE to open it flat) it looks to be about a yard wide.

Good to hear from a happy user/owner of the Renaissance Art comp book cover. :) I am still trying to figure out the difference, besides price and the selection of colours, between the Rustic Leather Cover and the Rustic Elegance Leather Cover; you purchased the Elegance Cover obviously. Do you happen to know what the difference between the two "models" is?

You see this sale and contact the member.

Wow, thank you for that heads up, Lloyd. I have indeed contacted the seller. :thumbup: Such a nice deal, I think!

Holly

Edit - guess the mods aren't going to move my post - glad that all of you found it here in the review forum and are willing to give me your recommendations. :)

Edited by OakIris, 28 April 2012 - 19:25.


#12 Fiddlermatt

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 19:50

I found some at my local dollar store that handle fountain pen ink very good. They are made in India. They work even better than the one I found at Target.

What is the brand, and what type of dollar store did you find these at? (Dollar General, Family Dollar etc.) Thanks
Wanting to trade for samples of fountain pen friendly legal pad paper.

#13 jameswatts

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 20:43

The Elegance version just means colors other than black or brown, I think. The leather of mine is quite supple but substantial. And when I purchased mine, it was with a discount that made it cost a bit less than the regular price of the Rustic, so I decided to take the plunge.

Edited by jameswatts, 29 April 2012 - 20:48.


#14 OakIris

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 02:14

The Elegance version just means colors other than black or brown, I think. The leather of mine is quite supple but substantial. And when I purchased mine, it was with a discount that made it cost a bit less than the regular price of the Rustic, so I decided to take the plunge.

Thank you James. I actually asked Renaissance about the difference, just got a sort of answer that the Rustic was a heavier leather than the Rustic Elegance, so for $10 less, you get a heavier leather, and if you want to pay $50 more than the Rustic, you get a lighter leather with a pocket.. :blink: Seems odd. I ma

#15 OakIris

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 02:33

The Elegance version just means colors other than black or brown, I think. The leather of mine is quite supple but substantial. And when I purchased mine, it was with a discount that made it cost a bit less than the regular price of the Rustic, so I decided to take the plunge.

Thank you James. I actually asked Renaissance about the difference between the covers as their descriptions are all the same, just got an answer that the Rustic was made of a heavier leather than the Rustic Elegance cover, so for $10 less, you get a heavier leather, and if you want to pay $50 more than the Rustic, you get a lighter leather with some pockets and a pen loop. :blink:

As much as I may want a different colour from brown or black, I may just go for the Rustic; there doesn't seem to be a sale/discount offer at this time to make the Rustic Elegance cover worth it. Also, I can't seem to find a way to view the different leather colours on their web site, which is disappointing. Twilight Blue sounds intriguing, but I have no idea what this colour looks like since they don't show the optional colours anywhere on their site. :( Edit - never mind, I figured out how to see the different colours. :headsmack:

Guess I am just whining tonight! :embarrassed_smile: I'll make my decision when I have had time to think about it a bit more.

Holly

Edited by OakIris, 30 April 2012 - 11:55.


#16 OakIris

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 14:22

I have received the box of composition books from Judy, the seller for whom Lloyd provided the ink. All Norcoms, various cover colours, all made in Brazil. :thumbup: Now I had better start writing!

I have done a quick test with a few of my pens, noticed a little bit of bleed through with my Estie - 1554 nib with Roher and Klingner Verdigris ink - but none with a Parker "51" Special fine nib - Parker Quink blue-black ink - or with a Parker Arrow broad nib - Waterman Florida Blue ink. Nice smooth paper, no feathering with any of the pen/ink combinations so far. I'm very happy!

I may pick up some of the Staples Bagasse paper comp books too, but don't need any right now.

Still no decision about the Renaissance Art leather cover, but I will be getting one when my wallet tells me it is OK to do so. :P

Holly

Edit - sorry for the semi-double post above - I started one post at 8:14, then for some reason didn't finish it, ending in the middle of a word, and started another post later that same hour. :headsmack: Didn't notice until long after my edit window had closed!

Edited by OakIris, 03 May 2012 - 14:25.