Thursday, 27 August 2009

Blackwell Black Cover Pocket Notebook

This is a Moleskinealike notebook. It costs half the price however and is available from Blackwells Book shop for £5. It is the same size as a pocket Moleskine but slightly thicker. I think the reason for this is that the stitch binding isn't done quite as well leading to uneven paper edges in the notebook when you look at it closed. Not that this affects the ability to write on it or close it or anything functional. The paper also feels slightly thicker than Moleskine paper. It has the customary pocket at the back, again a bit thicker because of the card used and the manufacture. It as Blackwell branded on the pocket which wont be to everyone's taste and Blackwell embossed on the back cover.
I've been using it for recording notes for a work project since April so it is full of untidy handwriting, phone numbers, action lists. I've never really kept a one topic notebook before as my work usually involves several topics all ongoing at the one time but this particular project has taken over everything else over the Summer (hence the lack of posts).
I use lots of different pens and pencils to write with, whatever is to hand. I've written in a variety of different types of ink in this notebook; rollerballs,fountain pens, felt tip, ballpoint, liquid ink (see the post on top ten pens for the most likely candidates). They all write really well on the paper. It feels like quality paper and the ink doesn't bleed. However it does seem to show through very badly on the other side of the paper. The interesting thing is that this isn't apparent immediately. I seems to occur after a few days so initially you can read everything fine and then it turns into a bit of a mess. Of course this is worse with some pens than others. Probably the fountain pen and felt tip are worst which isn't entirely surprising.
Being someone who has never been very impressed with Moleskine paper I was hoping for a cheap and yet better equivalent. This unfortunately isn't it. That said I have been very happy writing in it and it has kept a lot of quickly changing information at my fingertips.
It has also been a notebook that I've had no impulse to 'keep good'. I have had Moleskines in the past that I've struggled to write in because I felt I should be writing something of substance in them and unfortunately I have little of substance to say!
So what notebook next for me? This one is nearly finished. What I would really like is a pocket size black book with gorgeous white Clairefontaine paper but I haven't quite seen anything like that and the thickness of their paper might be problematic. The Rhodia equivalent may be worth a try but I haven't seen one in the flesh but have read that the paper s not their usual smooth white paper. If I ever get to see one I might try it. Waiting in the wings is a slightly larger Asda Executive notebook! It cost £3, has gridded paper and 3 concertina pockets at the back.

So I have used the Blackwell notebook well and while I seldom finish a notebook I will finish this one. And there lies the problem while being critical of the paper it has been the only notebook I've fully used. Perhaps I should pay attention to that and realise that more expensive, while making me feel warm and fuzzy inside, isn't what I need! These notebooks also come in dark blue and bright pink which may appeal to some who want something more than black.


Notebook Stories said...

I'd love to see photos of this notebook!

Notebook Stories said...

Also, just realized you are saying a pocket Moleskine costs £10 in the UK?? That sounds like it makes them even more expensive than they are here, where the list price is $12 and I've never seen them marked up higher than $15.

Superpooky said...

I would say everything is more expensive here. Have a look online on a UK site to see for yourself. When I visit the US I want to buy every notebook I can find!

I'll try for some photos soon...

Notebook Stories said...

I was just looking at these on the Blackwell's website. I wonder if you might be interested in a swap? I have an unopened Rhodia webnotebook (80gsm paper) that you might like in exchange for one of these? Or you could let me know if there's something in the US you've been wanting. You can email me at