Tag Archives: uk

London Notebooks

I was in London a few months ago, and while the trip wasn’t my best notebook-spotting adventure, I did see a few interesting items.

At Foyle’s, the huge bookstore on Charing Cross Road, there is a nice selection of stationery tucked in shelves by the registers on the 2nd floor. I thought the Puggy’s Best notebook was rather cute, and I was really tempted to buy the composition book tote bag!

london notebooks 2016 - 2

london notebooks 2016 - 1 (2)

At an airport shop, I was somewhat tempted by this Ted Baker notebook, but I didn’t like the pen loop on the spine, or the included pen itself. The pages inside were a mix of lined and squared pages, but the squares were very small– I think I’d find them a little distracting. Note the notch in all the pages for where the elastic closure sits.

london notebooks 2016 - 2 (1)

london notebooks 2016 - 1

london notebooks 2016 - 1 (1)


So those were the things I did NOT buy… but I did purchase a couple other notebooks on my trip, which I’ll review soon!

Palimpsest’s Stationery Store Series

The blogger at Palimpsest does us all a great service with a fantastic series of posts about favorite stationery shops around the world, mostly in Europe. Each is well-documented with photos:

Evripidis in Athens, Greece:

Pen to Paper in Brighton, UK:

I love visiting stationery shops when I travel. Even though the major brands like Moleskine and Clairefontaine are globally ubiquitous, there are always some local gems that you won’t see just anywhere. I’d love to compile a list of the best places to buy notebooks in countries around the world– please share your favorites in the comments!

Silkscreen Floral Notebooks

Some lovely silkscreened notebooks that someone emailed me about a while back:

See more at Life is mostly beautiful | Fashion Accessories.

Ryman Notebook

Yet another proprietary brand notebooks, this time from UK office supply store Ryman’s. I keep thinking there must be just a few factories in China that churn out identical notebooks and people just slap their own branding on them! This one looks like it has a soft, smooth cover similar to the Monologue notebook I reviewed. But here it’s in a nice brown color.

Anyway, I’m not complaining– the more brands of notebooks, the better, even if some of them are the same underneath the wrapper!

More details here: Ryman Notebook A6 Ruled Soft Feel 192 Pages 96 Sheets.

SIM Notebook

How cool is this? A notebook that looks like the SIM card from a cellphone!

SIMbook Notebook is designed to look like the SIM card for your mobile phone.

The SIMbook Notebook is a handy notepad for jotting down notes, making shopping lists or making memos. It’s the ideal little pad to keep in your laptop bag or on your desk.

Based on the design of a SIM card, this funky notebook combines old school data entry with modern style. It’s the perfect solution when nothing but a pen and paper will do. Proving that not everything in this technological age needs to be technical – some things can get away with simply being very cool.

Also available: SIMbook Address Book
Dimension: 8.5 x 13.5 x 1 cm

You can buy it from this UK website.

Review: Blackwell Notebook

The Blackwell notebook is an interesting “mole-clone” that has a bit more branding than most, but in an unobtrusive way that I rather like.

Below you see the Blackwell notebook next to a Piccadilly notebook– in the front view, it’s almost impossible to tell the difference. (The Blackwell is on the left.)


In this photo you can see that the Blackwell notebook (top) is ever so slightly bigger.


On the back, the Blackwell name is stamped in the usual brand location.


Here’s the cool thing, though: endpapers! I like that they put something a little jazzier than the usual plain white. Both inside front and backcover have the Blackwell logo endpapers, with no other markings within.


The paper is a little more cool-white than Moleskine or Piccadilly. Below you can also see that the accordion pocket in the back sticks out a bit at the corners, as it’s a bit bigger than most.


The notebook opens pretty flat, but not quite as easily as others I’ve tested.


The paper is not quite as smooth as Moleskine, and may be more comparable to Piccadilly’s paper.


Show-through was a little more than average, unfortunately:


I’m not sure of the retail price of these notebooks or whether they are even currently available. I obtained mine over a year ago via a trade with a blogger in the UK. You can see her posts about the Blackwell notebook here and here, for a bit of a different perspective.

Don’t forget that notebooks make great holiday gifts! Check out the Notebook Stories Store for lots of great brands.

Notebook Addict of the Week: Karen

Karen sent me this photo of some of her notebooks, saying

I confess that these are all unused at the moment (I’m currently using a Moleskine sketchbook, a cheap sketchbook with watercolour paper from The Works, a UK discount store, for art journalling and a small notebook in my bag for jotting down important facts like books to read!)

We have a wonderful chain of stationery stores in the UK called Paperchase and I confess to high excitement last week due to a branch opening in my town – my bank balance is doomed!

A great variety there– love the composition books in every color! Thanks Karen!

Alwych Notebooks $6.99 at Amazon

alwych notebook

Anyone who read Black Cover’s glowing review of the Alwych book surely wanted one–but they were only available by ordering from the UK, which was daunting. But now they’re available at Amazon for only $6.99 plus shipping for the pocket size version– WAY cheaper than ordering from the UK. Other sizes are available too– see all here.

More New Moleskine Products for Spring 2009

I’m not sure if these are only available in the UK, but at SimplyMoleskine.com, they’re offering Volant notebooks in two new colors, and Volant Address Books:

New in February 2009: Volant Address Books in 3 sizes and 4 colours.
The new Volant Address Books have ruled pages with laminated alphabetical tabs, created to be light and handy. Available in extra small, pocket and large sizes.

[UPDATED: I just saw an announcement about these new products for the US on Moleskine.com]