Thursday, June 15, 2017

Review: @Leuchtturm1917 Medium Hardcover Notebook @CouronneduComte

Leuchtturm 1917 notebooks are some of my favorites - lots of sizes, colors, rulings, accessories, and pretty enjoyable paper. I'll mostly focus on the Medium notebook here but I also have a Pocket (Azure) that I'll include as its performance is on par with the Medium, it just varies in size!
Review @Leuchtturm1917 Medium Hardcover Notebook @CouronneduComte 1
Review @Leuchtturm1917 Medium Hardcover Notebook @CouronneduComte 2
Review @Leuchtturm1917 Medium Hardcover Notebook @CouronneduComte 12
Ken Cavers Cigar Green Swirl Fountain Pen + Franklin-Christoph "Christoph" Music Nib
Montblanc Irish Green Ink

ABOUT

Size: A5 / 14.5 cm x 21 cm / Medium
Color: Cornflower Blue
Page Count: 249
Ruling: Dot grid
Price: € 15,95
Where to buy: La Couronne du Comte
La Couronne du Comte
Discount code: GOURMET10

Size: A6 / 9 cm x 15 cm / Pocket
Color: Azure
Page Count: 185
Ruling: Dot grid
Price: € 11,90
Where to buy: La Couronne du Comte
La Couronne du Comte
Discount code: GOURMET10

PACKAGING

Both notebooks were shrink wrapped in plastic. Each had a paper belly band with notebook specific details on it. Although the shrink wrap keeps the notebook clean and tidy, I would prefer the notebook is shipped without plastic.

In the back pocket inside, you will find a sheet with stickers for labeling your notebook on the front and spine. Great for organizing and archiving your notebooks.

APPEARANCE

Both notebooks look the same, except the Pocket is pocket sized and the Medium is larger! They have hard front and back covers with rounded corners, fairly wide, solid spines, and Leuchtturm1917 debossed on the back cover. Each has a color-matched braided bookmark and a color-matched elastic closure secured in the back cover.

Inside, the first page has space for your name and address. Following this, there are several pages for a Table of Contents - a very useful, simple system that makes this a great notebook for organizing and archiving, not to mention just for keeping track of life! The paper is off-white with a grey dot grid ruling. Each page is also numbered on the bottom corner, which is perfect for coordinated use with the table of contents. There is an expandable pocket on the inside of the back pocket.
Review @Leuchtturm1917 Medium Hardcover Notebook @CouronneduComte 21
Review @Leuchtturm1917 Medium Hardcover Notebook @CouronneduComte 22
The larger notebook is Cornflower Clue, solid, and lovely. The pocket notebook is a deep, beautiful azure and it's one of my favorite colors in the Leuchtturm line up. There are 17 colors to choose from in these sizes so if neither of these appeal to you, you will surely find something you like! I also bought a matching adhesive pen loop for my Cornflower Blue/A5/Medium notebook. I attached it on the inside of the back cover.
Review @Leuchtturm1917 Medium Hardcover Notebook @CouronneduComte 23

PERFORMANCE & FEEL

The Medium notebook is my favorite size, but I loved the Azure so much I had to get one (even though Medium was not available in the store). I also had the great idea of keeping the pocket notebook in my bag at all times, but I didn't in the end. Regardless, I love the notebooks. They're on the thicker side, especially if you soak the pages with ink and they warp a little. The notebooks are robust and well made - not unique or custom made, but still a favorite.
Review @Leuchtturm1917 Medium Hardcover Notebook @CouronneduComte 4
Review @Leuchtturm1917 Medium Hardcover Notebook @CouronneduComte 11
I like that the pages inside are almost flush with the cover - less wasted space and it gives the notebook a clean look. The solid covers protect the pages well and give a firm writing surface. The spine is holding together well - I have yet to ruin a spine or binding. The notebooks open easily and pages do not fall out, but you may have to break the spine a little to make it lie flat. That's ok for me because I use the heck out of these notebooks!

The loops are useful, but unfortunately, it is stuck right on the pocket of the back cover. I've had other Leuchtturms with loops that I stuck on the outside of the back cover instead. I've tried to reuse the loops but the sticky bit just didn't stay put.

The medium notebook is a more comfortable size for me to write in, especially because it opens easier and lies flat easier. The pocket can lie flat but I have to crack the covers backwards to get it to stay. When I use the pocket, it's easier to use the right side than the left side, but the medium is easier no matter what.

The bookmark is decent - nice and long, easy to move around. The expandable back pocket is simple and convenient if you like them, but these are wasted on me - I never use them. The elastic closure is pretty flat and is not cumbersome to write on. I've filled both notebooks (to date) and the elastics are still snug, though they do stretch a little with use.

How about the paper? I have reviewed a few Leuchtturms before: Whitelines, Medium Lavender, Master Slim A4+, and none of these had stellar paper. I don't know why, but the Medium Lavender was from many years ago. Recently, all the regular Leuchtturms I have used have been great. The paper does not feel coated to the touch, so although it is smooth, it isn't very slick. It isn't very toothy either so pencils work but they aren't my favorite to use - not enough feedback. Mechanical pencils with fine lead worked better than wood case pencils. Ballpoints, gel inks, rollerballs, marker pens - yep, they all work. No feathering, but there is some show through and a bit of bleed through with wet writers. If I must, I like to use ballpoints.
Review @Leuchtturm1917 Medium Hardcover Notebook @CouronneduComte 9
Review @Leuchtturm1917 Medium Hardcover Notebook @CouronneduComte 8
This paper is very decent for fountain pens. From extra-fine to double broads, calligraphy nibs, wet flex nibs, and all the other nibs I used, the inks did not feather. Depending on the color and intensity of the ink, there will be show through but bleed through is minimal. Ink shading, sheens (where applicable) and colors stand out well. It doesn't pop like it may on Tomoe River, but it still looks good. I also enjoy using fountain pens in these notebooks because of the feeling - the nibs do not slip on the page (which can sometimes happen on smooth paper).
Review @Leuchtturm1917 Medium Hardcover Notebook @CouronneduComte 7
Review @Leuchtturm1917 Medium Hardcover Notebook @CouronneduComte 10
Review @Leuchtturm1917 Medium Hardcover Notebook @CouronneduComte 13
Review @Leuchtturm1917 Medium Hardcover Notebook @CouronneduComte 14
Another thing I love about this paper is as I saturate the pages with fountain pen inks, calligraphy practice, and other scribblings, the paper soaks up the ink and gets crinkly and warped. Oddly enough, I love the feeling and sound of it. While some people may hate this, I love it! It makes me feel like I have really put something into the notebook, even if I haven't. It's the good feeling of using a notebook.
Review @Leuchtturm1917 Medium Hardcover Notebook @CouronneduComte 6

PROS

  • So many beautiful colors to choose from.
  • Notebooks can also be personalized.
  • Great set up for organizing and archiving
    • numbered pages
    • table of contents
    • adhesive labels
    • acid-free paper
  • Eight perforated sheets - though I would love more
  • Thread bound binding lasts a long time and holds up well to use.
  • Matching pen loops available (or complementary)
  • Really nice paper
    • inks shade, sheen, shine, shimmer
    • handles fountain pens well - writing is smooth and pleasant
    • drying times are not particularly long!
  • Portable, convenient
  • Elastic lasts pretty long
  • Great gift!!
  • Makes me want to fill its pages and not waste a single square.
Review @Leuchtturm1917 Medium Hardcover Notebook @CouronneduComte 16
Review @Leuchtturm1917 Medium Hardcover Notebook @CouronneduComte 15
Review @Leuchtturm1917 Medium Hardcover Notebook @CouronneduComte 5

CONS 

  • Pretty pricy.
  • Loops are not reusable (are they?)
  • Paper can warp and thicken your notebook as you fill them.
  • Pocket notebook does not lie flat as easily as the larger notebooks.

OVERALL

The Leuchtturm 1917 notebooks are some of my favorite notebooks available. I always have at least one in use and one or two back ups. I love my Rhodia as well but the Leuchtturm has more options, and I love the tactile feeling of the paper, not to mention how the paper warps a little, crinkling, and making it feel like I've really used the notebook! In my experience, the paper on the "regular" notebooks is fountain pen friendly and the writing experience is pleasant. The unusual sizes and limited editions have been the only ones that weren't as fountain pen friendly. I fear there is no guarantee, but I guess my luck has prevailed so far. I have found the special/limited edition versions are not as fountain pen friendly as the regular line up.

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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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