Review & Giveaway: Brügge Notebooks

Here’s a new brand of notebooks from Buenos Aires, Argentina: Libretas Brügge. The owner of the company was kind enough to send me 3 samples to review.


Brügge’s notebooks offer pretty much all the standard features: a hard cover, removable paper band with branding, elastic closure, ribbon marker, and back pocket. They come in pocket and medium sizes, a variety of colors, and side- and top-opening styles. (Other styles are also displayed on their website.) Shown below with a pocket size Moleskine for comparison:


Inside the front cover, you have the brand name, and lines to write your contact details. In the back, the company’s web address, and an all-paper pocket– no cloth reinforcement on the expanding sides. The spine is flexible enough to open nice and flat. The elastic closure has just the right amount of tension– not too tight, not too loose, so you can tuck it around the back cover to get it out of the way.


Here’s my major disappointment with these notebooks: the cover overhang is really pronounced, and it’s not symmetrical. In each of the samples I received, the book block is not centered on the cover. In the orange one I test-drove, it sticks out much more on the top than on the bottom, and the side edge of the front cover sticks out much more than the back cover.


If the front cover had been even with the back, I think there would have been a lot of extra room in the spine– it’s almost as though the book block should have been thicker for this cover, but they chose a lighter paper. There’s also some extra glue in the spine that makes the orange cover stick to the spine of the pages. In general, the quality of construction on these is a bit behind other similar brands, all made in China as these are. (If I had to guess, I would say they are making these notebooks in the same factory as Piccadilly uses, or used to use a few years ago, at least, because some of the materials seem quite similar, and also because one of Brügge’s other products is a notebook identical to the Piccadilly Primo I reviewed several years ago. They also offer a softcover notebook, and if that’s anything like the Piccadilly softcover I reviewed, I’d be excited to try one, since they offer plain and squared page versions.)

Inside, the notebook has creamy white paper. It feels quite pleasant to write on, fairly smooth but with a very slight tooth to it. It feels great with fine point gel ink pens and pencils but started to seem a wee bit feathery with wetter pens. It’s pretty thin, though– showthrough and bleed-through were worse than average.


So unfortunately, I can’t give these a glowing review due to the quality issues. These seem to be sold only in Argentina, where at least one online retailer has them priced at 73 Argentine pesos, which is about $9.26 in US dollars right now. If these were sold at much lower retail prices, I could overlook some of the quality concerns… but I know Argentina is in a tough economic situation right now, so perhaps lower pricing would be impossible.

But I’m still very pleased to have had a chance to try these, and to add a new country to my notebook collection. And you can take a chance at adding one to your collection too, by entering the giveaway!

I’ll be giving one notebook each to two lucky winners randomly selected from entries received in any of the following ways:

On Twitter, tweet something containing “Brügge,” and “@NotebookStories”, and follow @NotebookStories and @libretasbrugge.

On Facebook, “like” the Notebook Stories page and the Libretas Brügge page, and post something containing the words “Brügge” on the Notebook Stories wall.

On your blog, post something containing the words “Brügge” and “Notebook Stories” and link back to this post.

The deadline for entry is Friday March 7, 2014 at 11:59PM, EST. Good luck everyone!
And please remember to check my posts on Facebook and Twitter for an announcement of the winner.





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5 Responses to “Review & Giveaway: Brügge Notebooks”

  1. Nice

  2. […] Review & Giveaway: Brügge Notebooks […]

  3. I posted about it:

  4. […] Brügge Notebooks Review (via Notebook Stories) […]

  5. Hi, I’m Ramiro, from Argentina. I’ve recently bought one of this notebooks and came across with your blog searching for some reference. After reading this review I can say that you are quite right.

    They are of a nice quality. I have a Moleskine, too, and they seem pretty similar… perhaps not so much in some details, but in overall instead.
    Regarding the pricing, you couldn’t have imagined what is like to live here, so I shed some light. Anything, and I mean ANYTHING (including medicine and basic stuff) is like restringed. So, let’s say that if you want to buy something from Europ yo can do it, but the import taxes are so ridicously high (like 170% for a $24 US dollar set of Lego) that it is almost impractical. The same goes for Moleskine…

    On the other hand, Brügge notebooks are (by now, since our economy changes dramatically from one week to another, no kidding) like 150 argentine pesos ($15 US dollars) for a 13x21cm model and you can get a similar Moleskine for more than 300 argentine pesos ($30 US dollars).

    So, all in all, a Brügge cost roughly half a Moleskine, wich is, as you said, in a place like this, a very interesting aspect.
    I’d say that we, argentines, can get too finesse with those details when the price is so “low” for a notebook of these quality.

    All the best,

    PS: sorry for my bad english

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