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  1. I have been looking for a suitable book do start my commonplace book in, and after some searching and thinking I decided to choose the Peter Pauper Press Universe Journal. I was attracted not only by the cover, but also the mention of "archival paper" being used in it. I received the book today, and seeing the general lack of information on Peter Pauper Press products in comparison to Rhodia, Clairfontaine, Tomoe River etc, I have decide to do a bit of an overview. The cover itself is supposed to replicate the the binding of The Universe: or The Infinitely Great and the Infinitely Little, which was a layperson's encyclopaedia of the sciences by the Frenchman Félix-Archimède Pouchet, and was published in London in 1870. Compared to the picture from archive.org, it appears that the modern cover is relatively faithful to the original: However, the size of the modern adaption is different, coming up to around 162x218mm, or 6 3/8 x 8 1/2 inches. The paper itself is relatively smooth, and is 100gsm. If you want an idea of what it feels like, think Clairefontaine 90gsm ivory brushed vellum paper, but with a little bit more texture. In addition, the paper is supposedly acid-free and archival. I say "supposedly" because these words do not technically have concrete, standard definitions. An interesting feature is the gold edges of the book: In addition the lines in the journal are relatively faint, at least compared to the lines in a Rhodia Webbie. They're not solid, but instead are dotted. I like this feature as it provides a guideline without being too distracting. The book claims to lie flat. Unless you are an extreme perfectionist, this statement is true. Yes, you will get some bulge, but that is to be expected. It lies flat enough for me. I have not gotten around to writing in it yet, as I am currently waiting on some ink (Rohrer & Klingner Zeichentusche Sepia) which I aim to use exclusively in this book, so I will post a writing sample when I have to opportunity to do some writing in it.
  2. I am nearing the end of a Paperblanks notebook that was a gift. The decorative cover is quite appealing, but for my next journal, I'm hoping to get something that is better on a few functional points. Love these kinds of covers: http://images.utrechtart.com/products/optionLarge/Paperblanks/Paperblanks-Ventaglio-Rosso-64024_lg.jpg http://i.walmartimages.com/i/p/97/81/44/13/10/9781441310415_500X500.jpg http://www.lecadeauartistique.com/im/articles/carnet-paperblanks-safavide-ultra-details.jpg http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61s9N0-poCL._SY300_.jpg http://images.utrechtart.com/products/optionRegular/Paperblanks/karakusa_X.jpg The notebook I'm finishing up has a magnetic flap closure, which adds a lot of useless weight and bulk—a pain when traveling. The paper is decent, works with some inks and not others, shows no shading, but dries fast. The line spacing is also a bit wide. Some of the Peter Pauper notebooks have beautiful covers, but the lines are absurdly wide for my handwriting. 90% of my writing is with EF western nibs. On the paper, a little ghosting is fine, but bleed-through is not acceptable. If the paper is very thin, I'm good with writing on just one side, but it had better make up the difference with a good page count. Don't like add-ons in notebooks: maps, historical notes, holidays, pockets, weight and measure conversion tables. They just and weight and bulk. Ribbon bookmark are nice, but I'm not going to say "no" to a notebook that doesn't have one but is otherwise good. So, in sum: Ornate, decorative cover—but not cartoony or girlishLined, with a narrow ruling, preferably around 6mm5x7 to 7x9 inches or something in the A5, B6, A6 rangeLays flat or close to flatCream/off-white paperHardcoverNot more than 1 inch thick, preferably less than 3/4Not full of extrasAny suggestions for notebooks that fit these requirements?





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