Notebook Addict of the Week: The Unroyal Warrant

This week’s addict is the blogger at The Unroyal Warrant, who mostly reviews fountain pens but has some excellent notebook reviews too, including some rare brands I’d never heard of. Nevertheless, after an initial aversion to the not-all-that-rare Field Notes, he’s been sucked in by their limited edition subscriptions and had amassed this collection as of 2013. Perhaps it’s bigger now!

“As I have stated before in my Field Notes Calendar Review I didn’t like Field Notes right away because the paper was not fountain pen friendly.   Not too long ago I saw a friend’s collection of limited edition Field Notes and I stopped caring so much about the paper…”

Read more at: Field Notes Notebooks Review – THE UNROYAL WARRANT

Travel With A Sketchbook

A wonderful article by David Gillett about appreciating your travels more when you sketch instead of taking photos:


“My son Harry and I had weaseled our way into the cloistered beauty of Oxford’s Magdalen College on May Morning, a few hours after gathering with 20,000 other revelers to greet the sunrise with a hymn sung from the medieval tower, a tradition dating back 500 years. The college had sponsored a jolly day of artistic expression and laid out a banquet of tools for our use: oil pastels, Staedtler pencils, Winsor and Newton watercolour sets.

We sat on the striped lawn and sketched the arcaded front of the New Building (c.1733), adding to the plump sketch books we carried everywhere on this father and son tour of England. Increasingly, our pens and black books were our go-to recording devices, cameras staying more often in the backpacks.”

Read more: Why I prefer to travel with a sketchbook instead of a camera – The Globe and Mail

Playing Card Notebooks

Very cool! A notebook that is just like a pack of playing cards. My only concern was whether the paper would have the slick coating that many cards have…

 

Source: Draw Your Own Deck With These Playing Card Notebooks

National Notebook Day

Who knew? It’s National Notebook Day today, May 19, 2016. How are you going to celebrate?

Thanks to The Cramped for the tip!

Review: Appointed Notebook

Appointed is a brand of notebooks and accessories that I’ve seen cropping up in a few stylish boutiques here and there in NYC. The company is based in Washington DC, and the products are made in the USA, with a minimalist aesthetic. Let’s take a look at the sample they sent me:

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This is the backbone of their product line– a 7.5 x 9.5″ wire-bound notebook. It’s not a typical size for wire-bound notebooks– it’s more the size of a composition book. The first impression is one of solid, understated quality– the wire is a darker bronze color, not overly shiny. The cover is a textured bookcloth over a plain white cardboard. It has a bit of flex to it but isn’t flimsy. The appointed name and logo are stamped on the front, and with the address and website on the back.

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The corners of the cover are tightly rounded, which I like, though it’s a bit odd that the pages inside have square corners. The covers are made to be slightly wider than the pages, but only slightly, so the squared page corners end up sticking out beyond the rounded cover.

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Inside the notebook, you get cool bright white paper. Every sheet is perforated, with grid lines on the front, and plain on the back. At the left edge, the grid lines end, leaving a blank space with a place to write the date. One thing that really impressed me about this notebook was how carefully aligned the grid is to the page– there are almost no partial squares cut off at the edges. Almost every page is perfectly lined up, and the few that miss are only by a hair. Most squared notebooks have much more variation so you see zigzaggy lines when you look at the page edges– on the Appointed notebook, they are sharp and straight. I love that kind of attention to detail! Lined and blank versions of the notebook are also available.

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The paper feels smooth and somewhat hard when you write on it. Fine gel ink pens work beautifully but wetter pens and fountain pens tend to feather out a bit. Show-through and bleed-through were about average.

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At $24 for a 75-sheet (150 pages) notebook, this is not super cheap, but it’s not way over-priced in comparison to other upscale notebooks. For a USA-made product with such attention to quality construction and attractive design, it doesn’t seem like a bad value. Look for them in higher end retailers near you!

Notebook Addict of the Week: Josh

This week’s addict has a lovely shelf full of Field Notes.

You’ll also notice what looks like a couple of antique diaries in the middle there, but they’re actually iPhone cases! (A very nice iPhone wallet case called BookBook.)

Josh is actually reviewing the iPhone cases in the post linked below, so you won’t learn much about his notebook usage, other than that he sometimes keeps a leather Field Notes cover in his pocket. But I do like seeing his tidily shelved collection of used notebooks and spares!
Read more at The BookBook Case for iPhone 6 Plus — Tools and Toys

Kim Jong Un Visits Dandelion Notebook Factory

Notebooks make everyone happy, even Kim Jong Un!

SEOUL, April 18 (UPI) — Kim Jong Un visited a North Korean stationery factory, his first field guidance visit to a civilian site in three weeks, according to state news agency KCNA. The plant was newly constructed and manufactures mostly notebooks for school use.

Read more at: Kim Jong Un visits Dandelion Notebook Factory – UPI.com

Nanami Paper’s Value Comparison

A commenter named Sara reminded me to check out what might be new at Nanami Paper. If you like the Tomoe River paper found in certain Japanese notebooks, such as those made by Design.Y, Nanami Paper offers its own brand of notebooks called Seven Seas, which feature this lovely paper in a softcover lay-flat binding. They have also expanded their offerings to other Japanese notebooks, as well as pens and accessories.

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The other nice thing about Nanami Paper’s website is the thorough information they provide. I loved this comparison chart analyzing the value of popular notebook brands by how many square inches of writing space you get per dollar. It’s quite illuminating!

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Notebook Addict of the Week: Luisa

This week’s addict is an illustrator and web developer who blogs at Je Suis Éclectique. The images below are from a wonderful post about how to develop a good sketchbook habit.

“If you’ve ever wandered into an office supplies, art or craft store and walked down the aisles of lovely notebooks, a mysterious pull might get hold of you: either you want to write or you want to draw. You want to create.

I have piles of notebooks for both purposes but I want to focus on the sketchbook….”

Read more and see more of Luisa’s artwork at: Why Keep a Sketchbook? – Je Suis Éclectique

The Mystery of 148 Lost Notebooks

This is an extraordinary story. But I hope it doesn’t happen to me someday!

The 148 diaries below were found in a dumpster. Many years later, a biographer named Alexander Masters tries to decipher the writer’s identity from their contents… to say any more would be a spoiler. It’s a must read!
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Read more at: Diary of a somebody: could I solve the mystery of 148 lost notebooks? | Books | The Guardian

The full story will be available in book form in the US later this year: A Life Discarded: 148 Diaries Found in the Trash

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