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A Trio Of Norcom Composition Books


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During an internet outage this evening, I went out to one of my local Walmarts and came away with triplets. A set of Norcom composition books, one each from the US, Mexico, and Vietnam...


Mexico top left, Vietnam top right.


I put them through their paces with different pens, inks, and nibs. The results speak for themselves, I think...




The Vietnamese book far outperformed the American and the Mexican books. At 88 cents US, the Made in Vietnam Norcom composition book is an absolute bargain.


(And it's a bit obvious what album I was listening to while doing these tests, hmm? :D)


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An addendum to this review. I just received a sample vial of Noodler's Liberty's Elysium, and gave it a go in the Vietnamese composition book. Feathering was again minimal, but ghosting and bleedthrough was as bad as the Berning Red.


A caveat that I neglected to bring up. The Starry Night, Quink, and Skrip inks I used were from bottles I've had for several years now. Close to a decade old and were not as I've recently discovered, properly stored. They had been left out in the open on various counters and shelves the entire time. The Berning Red and Liberty's Elysium are from fresh batches. That may or may not have skewed the results a bit.

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The one from Brazil has the best FP-friendly paper.

Auf freiem Grund mit freiem Volke stehn.
Zum Augenblicke dürft ich sagen:
Verweile doch, du bist so schön !

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The one from Brazil has the best FP-friendly paper.

So I've heard. I've yet to see any in the wild, though. So I'll have to take what I can get.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I tried a couple Brazil comp books, and was not impressed. Unlike the Staples, Brazil spiral bound notebooks, the paper in the comp books were inconsistent. There were good pages and poor pages and bad pages. REJECT.


Wait for the 'back to school sale' at Staples, June/July/Aug and look for "Single subject, wire bound, made in BRAZIL." Country of origin must be the BRAZIL. The last 2 years they were on sale for 17 CENTS each. They are fine for most use, but not if you use EF or finer nibs. The paper surface is not smooth enough for the finer nibs. But F or wider work just fine. And it is CHEAP, so you don't have to scrimp on using it. For 17 cents each, you can write on only one side of the page and you still come out ahead.

San Francisco Pen Show - August 28-30, 2020 - Redwood City, California


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