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  1. Hi all, For those of you just tuning in, I just got back into fountain pens after a long layoff. Among other things, I am studying for IT certifications (Security+, RHCE, passed the CCNA two months ago) and it is well-documented in the scientific literature that taking handwritten notes (see, e.g., https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/a-learning-secret-don-t-take-notes-with-a-laptop) improves retention dramatically. So, I figured if I am going to be writing a lot, why not pick up some tools that make the job nicer and easier? The first "nice" notebook that I got, which I use for my RHCE studies, was a Moleskine. The hard cover and ribbon place markers are both very nice, but I quickly discovered that the paper quality left a lot to be desired. More specifically, I got awful shadowing and bleed-through even when using well-behaved inks that usually do not have those issues. Truth be told, I was very disappointed, especially given that I forked over nearly thirty bucks for the thing. Disappointed as I was with the Moleskine, and after watching numerous ink review videos that mentioned Rhodia and Leuchtturm1917, among others, I decided to take the plunge. Previously, my only experience with "fine" paper was the bond lawyer letterhead/pleading paper that my boss at my last job insisted upon continuing to purchase and use. My first foray into this new world was a Leuchtturm1917 Master A4+ notebook, which I now use for my bullet journal. From the moment I took the plastic off, I knew I had scored something extraordinary. The pages in that thing feel like what you would find in a wedding guest book or something else reserved for similarly formal occasions. It was/is magical, otherworldly, nothing like the bond paper I mentioned, and certainly nothing at all like the reams upon reams of copier paper I had grown accustomed to at my last job. I also could not believe how well the nibs of my pens glided across that paper, as opposed to the constant skipping and feathering I experience with my Moleskine. Also, I love love love dot grid paper as it allows me to keep my outline format notes straight. It's like nothing I have ever experienced before. After my Great Awakening with Leuchtturm1917, I ordered some Rhodia spiral pads, also in dot grid. Admittedly, I was loath to spend close to US$35 on notebooks that I had grown accustomed to getting for 1/10th the price. I used them in class tonight and, well... same thing. Magical. I just... I can't even. I'm hooked. I love the stuff. I can't get enough of it. It is amazing to me how much of a difference a few small luxuries like nice paper, ink, and pens make what would seem like a mundane everyday activity like writing something truly special and extraordinary. I'm not a snob and I loathe conspicuous consumption, hence a distaste for Mont Blanc. I am a practical guy and I am loath to spend big bucks on innocuous things like paper. And I constantly hear the voice of my dearly departed grandmother who lived through the Great Depression: "It costs ten times as much, is it ten times as good?" Well, in the case of this paper that is expensive as all get out, yes it is. Moleskine? Pfft. What I really feel now is best not repeated in polite company. Trouble is, I have half of my RHCE notes in it, so pitching it is not an option. Once again, experience is a cruel teacher that gives the test before the lesson. I also find that, when I hand-write study notes, daily plans, thought logs, agendas for meetings, or whatever, it is much easier for me to get into a state of "flow" than when using the computer. Why, I'm not sure, maybe it's because I spend more time putting thoughts to paper than constantly having to fight M$ Word as it does its best to botch up even the simplest of documents. One more thing: I can't help but wonder how much of the cost of these fine papers is import duties and taxes. Are they cheaper in other countries?
  2. What are your opinions on the paper quality and writing experience between these three? I've only used Rhodia of the three, and was thinking of trying out one of the other two, but I can't quite decide which one. From what I could gather on Amazon, Dingbats* notebooks have thicker paper (100g/m²), but I'm not a big fan of micro-perforations and they don't come in the B5 format that I've come to appreciate so much. The closest size to B5 they offer is an A5+ format which, while slightly bigger than A5, I fear it may still be a bit too small to my liking. Leuchtturm1917 notebooks, on the other hand, are available in the B5 format, but they only have 60 sheets (120 pages) and thinner paper (80g/m²) than Dingbats". Neither one is cheap so, decisions, decisions... Can anyone weigh in on the difference in writing experience (with a fountain pen) between these three? Should I just stick with Rhodia?
  3. sodiumnitrate

    Best A5-Sized Notebook?

    Hi all, I've been sneakily reading the posts on this site for a while, but it's the first time I actually write a post (except for the FB page). I've been looking for the best notebook for journaling and such for some years now, and I figured I would share my experiences and disappointments, and hear about others' thoughts on this. I started using Moleskines (classic, large notebook, hardcover, black) way before I was using fountain pens. I had to switch to something else when I started using FPs due to heavy feathering and bleeding. (And in the case of MB toffee brown, discoloration.) But in terms of design and binding, my favorite ever will be the softcover large notebooks. I also like how they are a little thinner than A5. I then switched to Leuchtturm1917. I like that their pages are numbered, and they hold the ink well and the paper is not excessively smooth (like Rhodias or Clairefontaines). I prefer soft covers, so I'm a little disappointed that they are way thinner than Moleskines. They need to be at least 1.5x thicker. Also, I've found that the paper is not that consistent. Leuchtturm1917 notebooks that I've purchased at different times had papers that react differently to the same pen/ink combination. I've had one that feathers more than it should, and another that had the ink kind of spread on it evenly without feathering -- in addition to a few perfect ones, of course. I tried a bunch of A5 Clairefontaines, too. For me, their paper is superior to both Leuchtturm1917 and Rhodia -- that is if you don't particularly dislike smooth paper. But their binding is just horrible. Forget about laying a staple-bound notebook flat on your desk. I tried "my essential" which has sewn-binding, which does a lot better than the others, but still falls short of both Moleskine and Leuchtturm1917. Their covers are a lot more modest too. I would have loved to see that paper in leather or Moleskine-style cover instead of just craft paper. And then there's Goulet's new Tomoe river notebooks. Everytime I write on Tomoe river paper, I'm amazed by how much ink a paper so thin can hold. I like my pens really really wet, so it'll always be my favorite paper. Goulet's notebooks are staple-bound, and very thin, so I'm not a huge fan of their binding either. I'm also a little disappointed that they only come with the white TR paper and not cream. They are also a bit on the expensive side, with $9 for 48 sheets (96 pages), which is fair I guess, considering 100 sheets come for ~$14. With all these notebooks considered, I think I'll continue using a combination of Leuchtturm1917 and Goulet notebooks. My dream would be TR (or similar quality paper) in Moleskine binding. Perhaps I should learn bookbinding and make my own notebooks using TR paper... What are your thoughts? Have you had similar experiences?
  4. Can someone compare the dot grid on the Rhodia Dotpad No. 16 vs the dot grid on the Leuchtturm journals. Are the dot grids the same? Are the dots lighter or darker on one of them? Thanks.
  5. Oh, and I'm producing a low cost, high performance flex pen, and need your input! Do you love flex? Please, if you haven't seen it already, complete this survey for one of seven chances to win a prototype! I had a sample of Diamine Syrah rattling around for ages. When I first tried it, I used it in a Leuchtturm1917, and a Lamy fine nib, and I was blown away, I was in love. A few days later I tried it in a Lamy broad, and I was…underwhelmed. I decided to do a thorough review in the hopes that I could make up my mind at last over whether I should invest in a bottle. This is me messing around with my Waterman frankenpen on some Tomoe River Paper with Syrah. Here are couple more close up pics so you can see the sheen and how it lays down on the paper.
  6. I saw the announcement video pop up on my YouTube suggested videos feed on Friday: http://youtu.be/YddRA-YcSHg. Then this morning I got confirmation in the comments from Whitelines that they are indeed making Whitelines Link notebooks with Leuchtturm1917 paper! "Leuchtturm1917 notebooks with Whitelines Link inlay/functionality". I don't see any mention of this new notebook on the Whitelines blog yet. After some Googling, I found some additional info:Leuchtturm1917 2013/2014 catalogThe Paperie - search results for Leuchtturm1917 + Whitelines These new notebooks will have black covers with orange elastics. Paper options will be ruled and dotted. Available in Notebook and Academy Pad. From the little bit that I've read (newbie FB user), it sounds like Whitelines paper has gotten so-so/mixed reviews from the FP community. Perhaps this will make Whitelines Link notebooks a more viable option for FP users. This could be the ultimate digital + analog combo. Exciting!
  7. I decided that I would go through all of my paper and make a big review post. For me as usual I feel the most important part are the visuals which I will embed though the post, but are also all in my gallery here: Gallery The whole post is a little photo heavy and all of them you can click through to a larger photo on the blog. I ran out of steam as I was typing this up so I have not at this point added written commentary on feathering or a couple other attributes though you should get some idea from the photos. Eventually it might also be nice to get scans of all of them, but that would definitively be for another day. Here are all the books covered: http://photos.cpride.net/photos/i-p8hzwLc/0/L/i-p8hzwLc-L.jpg Paper Size Weight Lines Sheets Cost Binding HP Premium Laserjet 32 lb Letter 120 GSM Blank 500 Sheets $16.54 @ Amazon Looseleaf Leuchtturm1917 Hard Cover Large Black A5 80 GSM Lined 5mm 1 Blank Sheet - 2 Contents Sheets - 8 Removable Sheets - 117 Sheets $16.54 @ Amazon Bound Hardcover Journal w/Extras Kokuyo Campus CYO-BO GC3A B5 100 GSM Lined 7mm 30 Sheets $3.35 @ Maido Sewn Softcover Rhodia Block Nº16 A5 80 GSM Lined 7mm 80 Sheets $5.50 @ Goulet Staple Bound Pad Clearprint Vellum - Grid - Pocket Size ~A7 60 GSM Grid 2.5mm 50 Sheets $4.45 @ Flax Art Glue Bound Notebook Miquelrius MR Flexible Journal ~A7 70 GSM Lined 7mm 64 Sheets $5.95 @ Flax Art Sewn Notebook w/ Leatheret Cover Maruman Boston Note A5 & B5 100 GSM Lined 8mm (A5) & Lined 9mm (B5) 65 Sheets $19.50 (A5) & $23.00 (B5) @ Jetpens Twin Ring Notebook Maruman Mnemosyne Inspiration A5 80 GSM Blank 70 Sheets $16.00 @ Jetpens Twin Ring Notebook w/Perforated Pages HP Premium Laserjet 32 lb http://photos.cpride.net/photos/i-T6bTPbW/0/L/i-T6bTPbW-L.jpg http://photos.cpride.net/photos/i-875PTLs/0/L/i-875PTLs-L.jpg http://photos.cpride.net/photos/i-jnBFWWp/0/L/i-jnBFWWp-L.jpg http://photos.cpride.net/photos/i-M9bn4km/0/L/i-M9bn4km-L.jpg Paper Size Weight Lines Sheets Cost Binding HP Premium Laserjet 32 lb Letter 120 GSM Blank 500 Sheets $16.54 @ Amazon Looseleaf Bleedthrough - Effectivly None -- Took 8 pass Figure 8 to cause it.Ghosting/Shadowing/Showthrough -- MinimalTexture -- Super Smooth & Kinda Glassy Maruman Boston Note http://photos.cpride.net/photos/i-Rrq7K5V/0/L/i-Rrq7K5V-L.jpg http://photos.cpride.net/photos/i-vsFRzbs/0/L/i-vsFRzbs-L.jpg http://photos.cpride.net/photos/i-rCbBqDb/0/L/i-rCbBqDb-L.jpg http://photos.cpride.net/photos/i-s8XHMGG/0/L/i-s8XHMGG-L.jpg http://photos.cpride.net/photos/i-dmfFjCs/0/L/i-dmfFjCs-L.jpg Paper Size Weight Lines Sheets Cost Binding Maruman Boston Note A5 & B5 100 GSM Lined 8mm (A5) & Lined 9mm (B5) 65 Sheets $19.50 (A5) & $23.00 (B5) @ Jetpens Twin Ring Notebook Bleedthrough - Effectivly None -- Took 8 pass Figure 8 to cause it.Ghosting/Shadowing/Showthrough -- MinimalTexture -- Smooth but textured Rhodia Block Nº16 http://photos.cpride.net/photos/i-N5HgB4s/0/L/i-N5HgB4s-L.jpg http://photos.cpride.net/photos/i-LM6QdMJ/0/L/i-LM6QdMJ-L.jpg http://photos.cpride.net/photos/i-V9LfpQR/0/L/i-V9LfpQR-L.jpg http://photos.cpride.net/photos/i-HjN8rW7/0/L/i-HjN8rW7-L.jpg http://photos.cpride.net/photos/i-PNV4zdX/0/L/i-PNV4zdX-L.jpg Paper Size Weight Lines Sheets Cost Binding Rhodia Block Nº16 A5 80 GSM Lined 7mm 80 Sheets $5.50 @ Goulet Staple Bound Pad Bleedthrough - Effectivly None -- Took 8 pass Figure 8 to cause it.Ghosting/Shadowing/Showthrough -- MinimalTexture -- Glassy but not as much as the Laserjet Clearprint Vellum - Grid - Pocket Size http://photos.cpride.net/photos/i-G4BcKQW/0/L/i-G4BcKQW-L.jpg http://photos.cpride.net/photos/i-Zrwh9LB/0/L/i-Zrwh9LB-L.jpg http://photos.cpride.net/photos/i-MsQFnGM/0/L/i-MsQFnGM-L.jpg http://photos.cpride.net/photos/i-Q6dsp3Z/0/L/i-Q6dsp3Z-L.jpg http://photos.cpride.net/photos/i-SrVC4tG/0/L/i-SrVC4tG-L.jpg http://photos.cpride.net/photos/i-BHjs9Hc/0/L/i-BHjs9Hc-L.jpg Paper Size Weight Lines Sheets Cost Binding Clearprint Vellum - Grid - Pocket Size ~A7 60 GSM Grid 2.5mm 50 Sheets $4.45 @ Flax Art Glue Bound Notebook Bleedthrough - Effectivly None -- Took 5 pass Figure 8 to cause it.Ghosting/Shadowing/Showthrough -- Very HighTexture -- Smooth(Not Shown in Photos) Grid is printed on backside of pages, doesn't accept ink Kokuyo Campus CYO-BO http://photos.cpride.net/photos/i-Z673Xq8/0/L/i-Z673Xq8-L.jpg http://photos.cpride.net/photos/i-LV6FrDb/0/L/i-LV6FrDb-L.jpg http://photos.cpride.net/photos/i-jVhGBC8/0/L/i-jVhGBC8-L.jpg http://photos.cpride.net/photos/i-N2MntX6/0/L/i-N2MntX6-L.jpg http://photos.cpride.net/photos/i-2GPqwvr/0/L/i-2GPqwvr-L.jpg Paper Size Weight Lines Sheets Cost Binding Kokuyo Campus CYO-BO GC3A B5 100 GSM Lined 7mm 30 Sheets $3.35 @ Maido Sewn Softcover Bleedthrough - Effectivly None -- Barely Bleeding at 8 PassesGhosting/Shadowing/Showthrough -- SlightTexture -- Super Glassy Miquelrius MR Flexible Journal http://photos.cpride.net/photos/i-qL7x7KN/0/L/i-qL7x7KN-L.jpg http://photos.cpride.net/photos/i-KzLt9c4/0/L/i-KzLt9c4-L.jpg http://photos.cpride.net/photos/i-Kf23hQz/0/L/i-Kf23hQz-L.jpg http://photos.cpride.net/photos/i-mP6BHMb/0/L/i-mP6BHMb-L.jpg http://photos.cpride.net/photos/i-khJzJPC/0/L/i-khJzJPC-L.jpg Paper Size Weight Lines Sheets Cost Binding Miquelrius MR Flexible Journal ~A7 70 GSM Lined 7mm 64 Sheets $5.95 @ Flax Art Sewn Notebook w/ Leatheret Cover Bleedthrough - Effectivly None -- ModerateGhosting/Shadowing/Showthrough -- ModerateTexture -- Smooth but more textured than the others Maruman Mnemosyne Inspiration http://photos.cpride.net/photos/i-6CcpSKL/0/L/i-6CcpSKL-L.jpg http://photos.cpride.net/photos/i-mFgbHDX/0/L/i-mFgbHDX-L.jpg http://photos.cpride.net/photos/i-pThcPHz/0/L/i-pThcPHz-L.jpg http://photos.cpride.net/photos/i-4f6qg3x/0/L/i-4f6qg3x-L.jpg http://photos.cpride.net/photos/i-nvJkbxp/0/L/i-nvJkbxp-L.jpg Paper Size Weight Lines Sheets Cost Binding Maruman Mnemosyne Inspiration A5 80 GSM Blank 70 Sheets $16.00 @ Jetpens Twin Ring Notebook w/Perforated Pages Bleedthrough - Effectivly None -- Effectively NoneGhosting/Shadowing/Showthrough -- MinimalTexture -- Smoother than Rhodia but not as glassy Leuchtturm1917 Hardcover Large http://photos.cpride.net/photos/i-bz8kk8q/0/L/i-bz8kk8q-L.jpg http://photos.cpride.net/photos/i-mFJ6F6G/0/L/i-mFJ6F6G-L.jpg http://photos.cpride.net/photos/i-BdzpbVd/0/L/i-BdzpbVd-L.jpg http://photos.cpride.net/photos/i-W2cksLj/0/L/i-W2cksLj-L.jpg http://photos.cpride.net/photos/i-DwL9Hv4/0/L/i-DwL9Hv4-L.jpg Paper Size Weight Lines Sheets Cost Binding Leuchtturm1917 Hard Cover Large Black A5 80 GSM Lined 5mm 1 Blank Sheet - 2 Contents Sheets - 8 Removable Sheets - 117 Sheets $16.54 @ Amazon Bound Hardcover Journal w/Extras Bleedthrough - Effectivly None -- Effectively NoneGhosting/Shadowing/Showthrough -- SomeTexture -- Smooth but with some grain
  8. Which is the "lesser of two evils"? I have one Webbie (140mm x 210mm - 5.5in x 8.25in; blank) with which I've not been all that enthused for all the usual reasons reported by others here and there: bleed/show/feather etc. Basically, I was disappointed that it wasn't of the same quality as the white Rhodia pad paper - you can, in my experience, apparently throw anything at that kind - broader nibs, wetter inks yadda yadda yadda. From what I've gleaned of the Leuchtturm notebooks, they're not any better. However, what I'd like to know is, to what degree are they worse? Provided that you are someone that has used a Webbie, and have experienced bleed/show/feathering (due to whatever factors: nib size/nib wetness/ink type/weather) and have used a Leuchtturm with much the same results, how bad are the aforementioned effects on the Leuchtturm compared with the Webbie? I ask because very soon I shall have need of some notebooks (3-4 of them, going on to 6-8 if/when I fill the first batch) that are of the typical Moleskine-esque black/elasticated/back pocket variety (hard or soft cover) and am wondering if it is worth it to get the Rhodia's which cost quite a bit more than the Leuchtturms. I could perhaps fiddle with my ink and nib combinations to find something that is "just right" with the Rhodia I have, but provided that I don't, would the Leuchtturms perform significantly worse? I can tolerate my current experience with the webbies, but I don't think I could if it were any worse. Thank you for your advice.

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