Thursday, June 8, 2017

Review: Miquel Rius Coiled Notebook @miquelrius_es

Miquel Rius sent me a few notebooks to review and this one was my favorite so I decided to put this up first!
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ABOUT

Paper weight: 90 gsm
Sheet count: 120
Ruling: Lined
Paper color: White
Cover: Plaid
Binding: Coiled,
Price: ~ $10.00
Where to buy: Amazon Miquel Rius Notebooks, Staples, etc.

PACKAGING

This notebook arrived shrink wrapped in plastic. The plastic covering kept the edges intact and made sure there were no marks on the cover, but I could live without the plastic... maybe something recyclable or reused?

APPEARANCE

This is a cute, roughly square notebook. It's a thick notebook with two hard covers and a black coiled binding. The pattern is plaid and it's dizzying to stare it but it's also colorful and fun with the green and blue pattern. The coiled binding is a large, black metal coil with tucked in ends. While filling up this entire notebook, the coils never became untucked (something that can happen with some inexpensive notebooks).
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The pages are white with a normal grey lined ruling, microperforations, two holes punched in it, a box across the top of the page, and a colored strip at the edge. The colors change throughout the notebook, which is a fun way to use different subjects without larger tab separators. The colors in this notebook are blue, purple, grey, and green. The colors are muted and earthy but I have also seen these notebooks with brighter colors, if you prefer.
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I like the design of this notebook and it's cute. Can't complain.

PERFORMANCE & FEEL

I have been using Miquel Rius notebooks for years, especially enjoying them while I was in university. I like them so much because they are cute, fun, look good, worked well, and were not too expensive. This notebook is pretty solid and robust, with the hard covers, wide coiled binding (for easy page turning), and tear-out pages. Obviously, the notebook can be opened with ease and it lies flat without having to break a spine. It stays flat as you write on either side of the page, which is convenient. The hard cover also serves as a firm back to write on if you have to write on the go, on your lap, or in the field. One thing I usually dislike about thick notebooks is having to write near the bottom of the page on a thick stack of paper - my hand slips off the edge so I have to write at an awkward angle, producing hideous writing. With the coils, I can flip a bunch of pages back and always find a comfortable height to write at. Even though this notebook is thick, it has the coils going for it. It's also a comfortable, portable size that I enjoy. The multiple colors on the edges of the notebook make it easy to use for multiple subjects, or you can just enjoy the colors!

The wide coiled binding allows a fair amount of movement per page so you can slide all the pages and covers around. It's some wiggle room that allows for smooth page-turning, but it also means things can shift. I didn't find it too much of a bother but if you prefer a snug notebook, this will probably drive you nuts.

The perforations are very convenient - the pages don't just fall out on their own. I fold the perforations before tearing out the page, for a clean and rip-free page. Several pages can be removed at a time. This is handy - I like the perforations especially if I'm trying to do something great with the notebook and I ruin a page - pull that one page out and act like nothing went wrong!

I have used probably twenty Miquel Rius notebooks to date, of various shapes, sizes, rulings, and quality. Most have been quite decent. Some had somewhat fountain pen friendly paper (such as this style of notebook) and others did not (such as the flexible covers). It's a little inconsistent overall but seems to be related to the notebook style itself.

This notebook's paper is a little on the toothy side, and it does not appear to be coated. As a result of the tooth, pencils work really well - the tooth feels a little like a sketchbook so it holds and catches lead well, especially with darker and softer leads. Gel writers smudged minimally and were not too messy.
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Marker and highlighters bled through but that's usually the case with most notebooks. I found the paper to be really nice with ballpoints, marker pens, gel pens, and rollerballs - the writing experience was tactile and it wasn't too slick. Ballpoints in particular are especially enjoyable - it seems to minimize the smudge factor of the blobby ones. No feathering, low show through, no bleed through. Perfectly suited to these writing instruments.
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Brush pens are well tolerated - drying fast, no feathering or bleed through, even with pigment ink (like Copics).

Fountain pens are a bit of a mixed bag. Sometimes I can make out some sheen, but that's unusual. Particles and shimmer from inks like the J. Herbin Anniversary Inks and Diamine Shimmertastic inks definitely shows up. Shading is low, drying times are pretty fast, even wet writers dry under 30 seconds. Surprisingly, feathering is not too bad and some inks feather more than others. There was show through and bleed through but it wasn't terrible. This kind of thing often depends on the wetness of the nib.
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The white paper shows ink colors well, even if it doesn't make them really pop. The paper performance was not terrible and it was pretty tolerant as far as inexpensive notebooks go (and more fountain pen friendly than Moleskine).

I like it overall. Decent paper that doesn't cost a fortune but I wouldn't necessarily buy this if you only want to use fountain pens.

PROS

  • Cute designs available.
  • Solid covers provide a firm writing surface.
  • Wide coiled binding makes it easy to turn pages in chunks, and to comfortably write in the notebook.
  • Pages tear out cleanly and easily.
  • Colored pages for multi subject.
  • Decent paper
    • a little toothy
    • pretty fountain pen tolerant
      • low feathering
      • low bleed through
      • dry writers work well
  • Convenient and portable
  • Robust and hardy notebook
  • Pretty easy to find.

CONS

  • If you want very fountain pen friendly paper, steer clear.
  • The colors and designs may not appeal to everyone.
  • The pages and covers slipping around in the binding may be bothersome.
  • I do not make use of the punched holes. 

OVERALL

As I said before, I've been using these notebooks for years. Although the paper varies a little from notebook to notebook, I have not found the coiled notebooks unusable. I like the designs, shapes, sizes, and functionality. They're fun and cute, and portable. It works for scribbles, notes, etc, but I wouldn't use them for journaling.



I received this item free of charge for the purposes of this review. I was not compensated monetarily for my review. Everything you've read here is my own opinion. Some of these links are affiliate links, which provides me with a small commission but does not add any extra cost to your purchase. Some links are just referral links, but there is no obligation to purchase through any of these links. Your purchases through my links help support this blog and allows me to fulfill review requests. Either way, I appreciate your readership and your support so much, so thank you!

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