Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Review: Moleskine Indigo Special Edition A4 Notebook

This is a review of the Moleskine Special Edition Indigo Journal. These journals were made for Indigo in Canada. It is very rare that things are made specially for Canada...
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In the world of fountain pen friendly paper, Moleskines don’t rank very high and most people aren’t too impressed with them for that very reason. I was hesitant when I bought this notebook but, as mentioned, I got it at Indigo in Winnipeg and it was only $5. That’s right. $5. I would have been crazy not to buy it. It was on an awesome sale after Christmas. I decided to get it and try it out. Although I knew I would go insane with the sheer amount of paper there is in it...

Features:

- Hardcover
- Elastic closure
- Ruled format
- 8″ x 11″
- Expandable pocket on back cover
- Bookmark

The official Moleskine Seal of Learning is embossed on the front cover of the A4 notebooks collection: Vidi, scripsi, memoravi (Latin for "see, write, remember").
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Observations:

- I must say, I was surprised with how much I liked this notebook. First, it’s a really nice looking notebook. The solid cover is a rich red and with the embossed logo, it looks really cool.

- Even when I buy one, I always know I can’t use a Moleskine for fountain pens. BUT! Somehow this paper feels different. I can’t find any information on its weight but it feels heavier than regular Moleskine paper. I don’t know if it is, so it’s entirely possibly I could just be crazy. It’s not completely fountain pen friendly. My broader nibs and wet inky fountain pens did bleed through the paper. But if you observe the pictures, you can notice the finer nibs looked pretty slick and there was no bleeding with those. I guess not enough ink could soak through!
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-  A fine point Sharpie did bleed through the paper but most people don’t write with Sharpies in notebooks like these! And if you do, no biggie. Just don’t use the next page. It’s a massive notebook anyway. You won’t miss a few pages. In fact, skipping pages that way may allow you to actually fill the notebook so you can get the high of starting a new one.
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- It handles rollerball and gel ink pens well. No bleeding in my tests with these either!
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- Most fountain pens wrote without much feathering of the ink. I did find that my J. Herbin inks feathered the most on this paper. This doesn’t mean J. Herbin inks aren’t awesome. They are. I really like them. It just happened to feather on this particular paper with the fountain pen I used. Maybe I should try a different nib size next time?

- Lays flat! I love journals that have this oh-so-desirable quality without me having to assault them and break their spines. I couldn’t imagine a large notebook that wouldn’t lay flat. It would drive me insane. But lo and behold, this one lays flat and because of the solid cover, it’s a cinch to write on either side of the paper. Notebooks with lots of paper benefit from a solid cover over a flexible cover. They’re just easier to write in.

- Accepts micro tip pens well. I had no problems with scratching and although the paper is not nearly as smooth as vellum 90g Rhodia paper, for example, but sometimes when you write with a micro tip pen you can just feel it dragging across and collecting fibers at the tip. Not the case with this paper, surprisingly!

- The large paper and slim ruling gives a lot of writing space. This could be good or bad. For those with ADD and need to have small journals to use up quickly - there is a LOT of writing surface in this notebook. It will last a loooong time and it may drive you bonkers. Especially if you write with micro tips on both sides of the paper.

Cons:

- Not amazingly fountain pen friendly, like Clairefontaine/Rhodia paper is, but it’s not too bad. Especially for $5...

- Allows feathering with certain inks. Tolerable though because this does not happen with all inks.

Overall:

I haven’t seen these at Indigo in awhile and I can’t find them online anymore so I don’t even know if they’re still available. If you can get your hands on one, I wouldn’t recommend against it because they’re quite nice. At full price, it’s a bit steep ($30 or so?). For that price you can get a stellar Rhodia or Clairefontaine or something.

I don’t have a whole lot to rant about for this notebook. Mostly because my discussion isn’t applicable because I haven’t seen them available in awhile. But the pictures are cool. You can gaze at the pictures and imagine how long it took me to write in it with all these pens. Can you imagine how awesome this book will look when it’s full of writing? Mmmm...

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GourmetPens by Azizah Asgarali is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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