GLP Creations The Author Notebook

I have quite a hoard of 68gsm Tomoe River notebooks! From the Hippo Noto to the Taroko Enigma to the Endless Works Recorder, there is now many notebooks that use this wonderful paper. GLP Creations’ Author notebook makes a niche through its availability on Amazon. It also is a slim A5 size, smaller than the regular A5. This makes it portable and light, especially with only 192 pages.

Specs:

  • 68gsm white Tomoe River paper
  • $27.99 on Amazon
  • 192 pages
  • comes in lined, dot grid, and blank
  • 5.3 in x 8.26 in, slimmer in width than regular A5
  • softcover

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My Author notebook has a teal, pebbly faux leather cover. It’s soft to the touch and flexible. With its flexibility, it should last in my bag. The notebooks come in teal, red, gray, black and brown, navy blue and green, with the option of blank, lined or dot grid. The ribbon is long, but it isn’t sealed off so it might unravel. There is an aqua elastic band that will keep it closed. I don’t find it to lay as flat as the Endless Works Recorder. Whenever I try to flatten it down, the front cover flips the book closed. There’s a logo on the backside. The back pocket is nice but doesn’t expand much. Comparing it to a Taroko Enigma, the Author is narrower but the same length.

The inside has a few pages of stiff cardstock where you can print your name and address and fill in a table of contents. I think it’s formatted well except that the headers are jet-black. I’d prefer for headers to be a light gray.

The inside has the same 68gsm Tomoe River I know and love. If you want to see a more in-depth review of the paper, read my Hippo Noto review. Fountain pens shine on it, showing shading and sheen. I like that the page numbers are a light gray, matching with the lining. However, the lines are dotted and thick, distracting to me. I’d prefer if they were much thinner, like the lines in Hippo Noto notebooks.

Overall, I enjoy the slim A5 size and flexible teal cover of this notebook! The paper inside is delightful of course. However, the lines are thick and the price is quite expensive for the number of pages you get. If you’re looking for a slim and portable Tomoe River notebook, I would recommend the Author!

I bought these notebooks with my own funds. I was not paid for this review. 

Endless Works Recorder Notebook Review

I’m always on the search for new 68gsm Tomoe River notebooks. After I bought a Hippo Noto, I fell in love with this fountain pen friendly paper. Luckily, more brands always seem to be popping up! Today, I’ll be reviewing the Endless Works Recorder notebook.

Specs:

  • white 68gsm Tomoe River paper
  • $22.95
  • 96 sheets, 192 pages
  • 5.8″ x 8.25″, A5
  • 5mm dot grid, also lined and blank available
  • numbered pages, elastic closure, inner pocket, table of contents, 16 perforated pages

The Endless Works Recorder comes off as well-designed. I didn’t receive a cloth bag like some reviewers did, but it was packaged nicely and I got a sticker with my purchase. The cover is a red pebbly leatherette which seems sturdy enough to last in my bag. There is a dash and three dots on the bottom of the front cover, which is the logo for Endless. On the back is “Endless” in capital letters. The branding isn’t too obvious. Even better, the notebook has a sky blue elastic band to keep it closed. I wish more notebooks had this feature. There is a matching blue bookmark too. I like how slim and light the notebook is with only 192 pages, though it doesn’t come cheap.

The inside has a thoughtful dot design along with the dot dash logo. There’s a space to put your name. The table of contents is only two pages, but it should last long enough. I wish the headers weren’t such a dark color. The back pocket works perfectly well. The notebook also lays flat!

The Recorder notebook has the same 68gsm TR paper I enjoy so much. There is plenty of shading and sheen. The show-through is quite obvious but I get used to it as I use up a notebook. The dots are a bit dark for my taste, however, and the page numbers are also dark and obvious. I think the dots could be one row longer on the horizontal. I also noticed that the page numbers are placed unevenly as I flip through the book. That’s quite annoying to me. Kelli at Mountain of Ink pointed this out in her review.

I like this notebook, but it’s a little expensive for the number of pages inside. However, I’m happy to see any new brands that use 68gsm TR paper. Endless needs to fix some of the quality control and design issues and it will have an even better notebook. You can buy this notebook from several stores, including Endless, Pen Chalet, and Dromgoole’s.

I bought this notebook with my own funds. I was not paid for this review. 

 

 

 

Fabriano Ecoqua Gluebound Notebook Review

I bought the Fabriano Ecoqua Gluebound notebook at my school bookstore some time ago. I’ve seen the Fabriano brand in art stores before but not commonly elsewhere. So I picked it up, not realizing that it was gluebound! It’s not my favorite binding but I think the notebook will be useful for people who want to tear out notes or make lists. Here’s my review:

Specs: 

  • 85gsm “Bioprima” acid-free paper
  • $5.20-6.50, based on where you buy it
  • 90 sheets, 180 pages
  • 5.8″ x 8.25″, A5
  • 4mm dot grid
  • gluebound

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The Fabriano Gluebound is a slim A5 notebook with a textured paper cover. Mine is gray, but there are several bright colors to choose from. Fabriano is printed faintly on the front in silver ink and it looks classy. The corners aren’t rounded so they could get dinged up easily. Some of the paper sticks out from the edge. I don’t think the notebook would last long in my backpack with its thin, light construction. This is more of a desk pad to me.

Inside is a slim block of 85gsm paper. It’s cool to see the binding on the side. The notebook lays flat easily due to being gluebound. However, I’m not sure how sturdy the binding is. I’ve seen reviews where people say the pages tear out by themselves, but that hasn’t happened so far for me. The pages are easy to tear out and don’t leave any pieces behind.

Now, onto the paper! The dot grid is smaller, 4mm compared to the average 5mm. However, the dots are light and fade into the background easily. The paper has some texture to it, that my finer fountain pens catch on. However, I like some texture when I’m writing. It’s not as toothy as Baron Fig paper, but not as smooth as Tomoe River.

I was surprised by the quality of the paper! It shows some shading and even a bit of golden sheen in my sample of Taccia Momo. I didn’t see any feathering or spreading of ink. The paper is ivory but shows off the ink well. Pencils do well on the textured paper. However, I felt like my finer pens felt more scratchy. The showthrough isn’t bad either. The juicy Zebra Sarasa and Pentel Energel left more showthrough. I’d use both sides of the page. It took 10 seconds for fountain pen ink to dry. It’s a good budget option for fountain pens.

I’d suggest using this notebook for taking quick notes and making lists. Don’t use this as a journal or repository for important writing because the pages are meant to be torn out. I’ll use this for making lists of my homework and tasks to complete. They are also easy to find online or in art supply stores. There are several types of Fabriano Ecoqua notebooks, including in pocket-sized, staplebound and spiralbound versions. I bought a pack of Fabriano pocket notebooks so look for a review of those soon!

I bought this notebook with my own funds. I was not paid for this review. 

Musgrave Tennessee Red Pencil Review

I bought the Musgrave Tennessee Red pencils after hearing that Musgrave revamped their brand and added new pencils. I’ve mostly stuck to Blackwings and Japanese brands, so I haven’t tried many American pencils. There are only a few American pencil companies left, so it’s important to support them! Also, a dozen Tennessee Reds are only $9, compared to $25-28 for a dozen Blackwings. They are made of Tennessee red cedar instead of California cedar. Apparently, that’s what Musgrave pencils were made out of until the ’60s. Luckily, Musgrave found a new source of the wood!

However, there are quality control issues with the pencils, which I want to mention up front. In their blog post, Musgrave says that because they are new to working with this wood, some pencils will have off-centered lead or will be slightly warped. I’ll explain the issues I found with my pack later.

Specs:

  • $9 for a dozen
  • #2 core
  • natural finish with clear coat
  • sharp hex

My pencils came in a beautiful red slipcover, with the words Tennessee Red in vintage-looking letters. They are stunning! The pencils are natural but have a clear gloss over them. Tennessee Red reminds me of a hardwood floor, with a similar smell. They aren’t as fragrant as Blackwings but still smell delicious! There are interesting whorls and variations that make each pencil unique. One of my pencils looks like a black and white cookie, with one half a lighter color than the other! I love the vintage red imprint but I wish that it showed up more against the dark wood.

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They also have a very sharp hex, which means the edges are hard. It digs into my fingers. I wish that the edges were softer like Blackwings. I liked the combination of red with the golden ferrule and white eraser. Sadly, the eraser isn’t very usable, but most aren’t!

The hex is #2 but feels softer. It’s similar to Palamino HB. It’s smooth and dark on paper with some tooth. I tested it on Write Notepads and it was great. I didn’t feel any grit or scratchiness like I do with some pencils. It also has kept its point despite writing pages of notes. It’s a contender for my favorite lead, with the Blackwing 602 still holding first place.

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However, I had quality control problems with my pack of pencils. I’d say 3-4 of mine are off-center. Even worse, one of them was completely messed up. It looked like the two slats were misaligned. It looks impossible to write with. They are also hard to sharpen, especially in hand-held sharpeners. The wood is thick and dense. I used my brass Möbius and Ruppert sharpener which worked but it took some effort. Finally, the hex is much too sharp for me.

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I also was given two free pencils in a sleeve, a Musgrave 600 News and Musgrave Bugle. I loved the dark, smooth lead of the News, but I broke the tip instantly. It seems perfect for sketching! I didn’t like the Bugle, it was too light and scratchy. Both pencils felt lightweight without a ferrule and eraser.

I love the idea of the Tennessee Red pencils but I think better quality control needs to go into the next batch. At least Musgrave was honest and wrote a blog post explaining the issues. They also aren’t very expensive compared to Blackwings. If you’re okay with potentially getting off-center cores and love the beautiful red cedar, then I would purchase. I bought a pack for my mom and she loves them! Otherwise, I’d recommend waiting for the next generation of these pencils.

I bought this notebook with my own funds. I was not paid for this review. 

 

Goulet Notebook with 68gsm Tomoe River Paper Review

Sorry for not posting recently! My school closed because of coronavirus so I’m back at home now. Things are scary right now and I’m glad I’m with my family. I also have all my notebooks and fountain pens. Self-isolation gives me more time for reviewing at least…

Goulet Pens is a staple of the stationery sphere online. I bought my first fountain pen, a teal Pilot Metropolitan, from there in 2016! Not only does it sell pens, notebooks, and ink, but it also sells its own brand of Goulet Notebooks. Their brand fills a niche of slim, Tomoe River inserts that can easily be slipped into a cover. I’ve seen plenty of them on Etsy but I’m glad that Goulet makes their own that are simple and inexpensive. I don’t use inserts, but I bought a Lined A5 Goulet Notebook with 68gsm Tomoe River paper to try out. I prefer lines, but they are not always available with 68gsm paper.

Specs: 

  • White 68gsm Tomoe River paper
  • A5 size
  • 7mm lines
  • 64 pages
  • rounded corners

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The Goulet Notebook comes in a plastic wrap with a sticker on the front. Otherwise, there’s no branding. There’s no easy way to tell what the front or back is, so I stuck on a cute bee sticker that was included with my purchase. The notebook is slim and light. It’s a standard A5 size so it will fit into a cover. The cover is textured but not very sturdy. There’s 64 pages inside, which isn’t as many as the 96 pages inside of the 52gsm version. However, this paper is thicker and the type I prefer to use.

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The inside is luscious 68gsm white Tomoe River with lines, my favorite! However, it doesn’t live up to the dotted light-gray lines in the Hippo Noto. The lines are a bit too dark for my taste. The pages lay flat easily.

The paper is perfect of course. All my fountain pens showed shading and sheen. None of my nibs felt scratchy on the paper. There was no feathering. It took 20 seconds for my fountain pen ink to dry. The best part is that 68gsm TR has much less show through than its 52gsm cousin. I compared the showthrough on the back page of the Goulet Notebook with the back page of a Nanami Cafe Note B6. There’s much more with the thinner paper, which makes it annoying to use. It is easier to use the back once you write on it, but I still prefer 68gsm for its thickness.

Overall, the Goulet Notebook is a good choice if you want inexpensive Tomoe River paper, enjoy slim notebooks, or need inserts for a cover. But if you want a bigger journal, you should look elsewhere. The Goulet Notebook comes in several sizes and with 52 and 68gsm paper. Sadly, Goulet Pens isn’t fulfilling orders because of coronavirus. But when they are back, this notebook is a great choice to add to your cart.

I bought this notebook with my own funds. I was not paid for this review. 

Hobonichi Weeks Planner Review

I thought that my Quo Vadis Weekly Planner would be enough for school assignments. Then I started missing my other non-school appointments. My Quo Vadis was so crowded with schoolwork and exam dates that I didn’t have much room to write down other obligations. I’m naturally a very disorganized person so as school gets harder, I have trouble juggling all my commitments. I thought about using Google Calendars, but technology distracts me. So I bought a Hobonichi Weeks of course!

Specs:

  • Cream 52gsm Tomoe River paper
  • 3.7″ x 7.4″
  • 240 pages
  • $25, though there are variations that are more expensive
  • Calendar format, yearly overview, monthly pages and weekly pages
  • Extra pages at the back
  • Thread and glue binding

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The Hobonichi Weeks is different from its more famous sibling, Hobonichi A6 Techo. It is taller and narrower, and comes into a horizontal weekly format. It also has cream 52 gsm Tomoe River paper instead of white. It’s also less expensive at $25 compared to $37 for the A6 and $52 for the Hobonichi Cousin.

My Weeks has a red fabric cover. I was supposed by how flimsy the cover felt! It’s not very protective. I already accidentally crumpled the pages inside so I wrapped a rubber band around the outside to keep it shut. The cover does feel nice to touch though! There are two thin bookmarks that are already unwinding. 2020 is embossed on the cover in gray ink. The Weeks doesn’t lay flat sadly. I always have to push the pages down with my hand. It’s very light because of the thin pages inside! It doesn’t weigh down my backpack at all. I really like how slim and light this planner is. It came with an adhesive pocket sticker that I attached to the back.

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The interior has cream 52 gsm Tomoe River paper. I love this paper but it’s somewhat impractical for a planner. I keep on leaving ink stains on the opposite side of the page because it dries so slowly. Fountain pens feel great on the paper. Shading and sheen show up in my pen test. My Zebra Sarasa and Pilot Precise V5 work well on the paper, but the Pentel Energel takes forever to dry. Using Sailor Tokiwa-Matsu ink, it took 20 seconds to dry on the paper! That’s quite a while for a planner I’ll be opening and shutting constantly.

There is a calendar, yearly overview, monthly pages, and weekly pages. There are pages in the back and quotes throughout the pages but they’re in Japanese. A set of memo pages are in the back of the book, which is helpful for making lists or activity tracking. I enjoy the light 3.6mm grid that is used in much of the book. It gives me structure but isn’t too distracting. There is one month per spread, with room on the side and bottom for lists. I’d rather that the calendar was bigger though. The weekly spread has the week on the left side and grid paper on the right side. I’d prefer if the week continued on the right side so there’d be more space. However, I’m using this only for writing down appointments and deadlines so it doesn’t matter as much.

Overall, I like the size and slimness of the Hobonichi Weeks but its format and paper isn’t perfect for me. I’ll keep using it this year then switch to Google Calendar or another planner. But if you like the format and its size, I’d recommend it. The Weeks is unique among the Hobonichi planners because of its horizontal weekly format. There is also an April start planner available. It’s not too late to pick one up at Jetpens!

I bought this notebook with my own funds. I was not paid for this review. 

 

Quo Vadis Scholar Weekly Planner Review

I didn’t use planners consistently until college. I always buried the half-used ones my high school gave me in the bottom of my backpack. Then I realized that college was much more complicated and I needed a planner to keep me organized. As a freshman, I visited my college bookstore and found the planner for me! It’s called the Exacompta Scholar Weekly Planner. It goes from August to July so it’s the perfect student planner. There are several other styles available, with vertical weekly pages, daily pages, etc. You can buy them online at classicofficeproducts.com. I’ve been using these planners for three years now, so it’s due for a review. My pictures are from autumn, but the planner looks much more worn now!

Specs:

  • white 90gsm acid-free Clairefontaine paper
  • 6 1/4″ x 9 3/8″
  • 124 pages not including the separate booklet
  • $14.75, $9.45 for refill only
  • 12 months, August to July
  • sewn binding
  • refillable

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The outside of mine has a red vinyl cover. It is removable and Exacompta has other covers offered online. The planner is very slim. It seems like it would be flimsy but the flexible exterior allows it to bend to fit in my backpack. The pages don’t get crushed inside my bag unless I’m careless and pile textbooks on top of it. The cover gets scratches easily but I’m not concerned about how it looks. The planner is taller and thinner than average, closer to B5 than A5 paper size. The pages also lay flat!

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The interior is crisp, white Clairefontaine paper. It’s great for fountain pens and gel pens. Pencil feels too smooth and skate across the surface of the page. My Pentel Energel takes forever to dry. I generally use fountain pens and Papermate Inkjoys on the paper. In my pen test, shading and some sheen appear. White Clairefontaine paper really makes the colors pop! It took ten seconds for Kobe Arima Amber to dry.

The Weekly Planner has pages to write down your daily schedule, a vertical overview of the year, monthly pages, and weekly pages. There is a tiny three year calendar page and a separate booklet for passwords, contacts and scrap paper. I generally use only the monthly and weekly pages. As a student, I appreciate having a weekly format with plenty of room for writing down assignments and upcoming due dates. In comparison, the Hobonichi Techo’s daily format doesn’t work as well for me.

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The week is in a two page spread, with three days and space for notes on the left side, and four days including a shortened Sunday on the right side. Honestly, my weekends aren’t too busy but this should satisfy people who are annoyed by minuscule sections for the weekend. There’s still space near Sunday to write in. There are 11 lines for each day, except for Sunday which has five lines. The lines are made up of light gray dots and are inconspicious. A darker ink lists the date to the side of the lines. This is plenty of room to write my copious assignments in.

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The pages have perforations at the bottom corners so you can tear them out. It’s helpful because you know exactly where you are in the planner and can flip to it.

Overall, if you’re a student or a professor, this planner will be very useful to you! If not, Quo Vadis has many other options for planners with the same luxurious paper.

I bought these notebooks with my own funds. I was not paid for this review. 

 

Valentine’s Day: Bungubox Sweet Love Pink

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I decided to do a review on my favorite pink ink ever, Bungubox Sweet Love Pink! It’s the brightest hue I’ve seen in the ink world! I got it as a sample and promptly used it up. But with the rebranding of Bungubox to include smaller bottles, I haven’t seen this ink available in a while. I was lucky to get this bottle on r/penswap. If only I had the sparkly pink pen based on this ink!

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Here’s Sweet Love with my Pelikan M205 Star Ruby

The bottle is the squat 50ml Sailor bottle, which is getting replaced with a smaller 35 ml shoe-shaped one. I took out the plastic inkwell inside because I get a better fill without it.

The ink is a bright bubblegum pink, with some shading and a bit of gold sheen. It’s a beautiful color that I haven’t seen anywhere else. Taccia Momo is more cherry and Lamy Vibrant Pink is darker. The ink is smooth and the perfect consistency, as expected from Sailor-formulated inks. Despite its bright hue, it’s surprisingly legible, even in smaller nib sizes. Using my old sample, I wrote a 15 page story with a Pilot medium nib and it’s not too hard to read. But in larger sizes, you can see shading from light to darker pink. I wrote my sample using a Pelikan M200 M nib and on Tomoe River 52gsm paper. It took about 20 seconds to dry fully. If you can find it anywhere, Sweet Love is the perfect Valentine’s ink!

I bought this ink with my own funds. I was not paid for this review. 

My Favorite Back to School Supplies

As a student, the stationery I use is essential to me! I like incorporating my favorite hobby into school while having pretty lecture notes. Although some students at my university use laptops, plenty of us still use paper and pens. Actually, writing notes by hand helps students to retain information better. So I wrote up a list of my favorite notebooks, pens, and pencils, among other items, that I use in my daily life.

Some factors that influenced my choices were price and accessibility. A student’s budget is much different than an adult’s when it comes to stationery. You can find notebooks for cheap, but they may not have the best paper. But other fountain pen friendly notebooks, like Tomoe River, are unsuited for taking quick notes. I like to splurge on stationery so my recommendations may be more money than some people are willing to pay for. For current students, check out your college bookstore. They stock Clairefontaine and Rhodia notebooks at mine! Here’s my daily carries:

Quo Vadis Scholar Weekly Planner, $16

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I found this planner at my college bookstore. They have a huge collection of Quo Vadis planners, from A6 size to 6 x 9 inches and with pretty covers. This is my third one, after using one each year! The Scholar has thick, bright white Clairefontaine 90g paper. It comes in a weekly format with plenty of space for each page, which is much more useful to me as a student than a page-a-day planner. Monthly spreads are helpful for writing down exam dates and paper due dates. A review of the Scholar is coming soon!

Kokuyo B5 Soft Ring, $11.75 at JetPens

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I love these notebooks because they have soft plastic rings that don’t bite into my hand as I write (yes I’m a leftie). They have silky, thick ivory paper with light 7mm lines, perfect for fountain pens. The paper doesn’t take too long to dry either. Mine have 80 sheets/160 pages, enough for my copious note taking.

Clairefontaine A4 Spiral Bound, $7 at Goulet Pens

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For Latin class, I need a giant notebook for me to stuff all my notes and tears into. The Clairefontaine A4 does the job. It has enough space for writing down all the declensions and conjugations my heart desires. It’s also super sturdy and lasts the entire semester in my bag. It has 50 sheets/100 pages.

Pilot Metropolitan and Kakuno, Lamy Safari

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The Pilot Metropolitan and Kakuno are often considered the best beginner fountain pens. They’ve been part of my collection since the beginning. I don’t feel too bad about losing them so they are carried around the most. I love their smooth M nibs that show off shading and sheen. The Lamy Safari is light but balanced in my hand. I love its slightly pebbly texture. It has a juicy M nib.

Blackwing pencils

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This is certainly the more expensive choice of pencils, but I have no self control when it comes to limited editions. I love how smooth these pencils are. They put down lovely dark lines. The limited edition pencils are gorgeous. My favorite is the Blackwing 54, which I reviewed here. It has a Surrealism art theme. I use them for Latin and math classes, where I can erase my mistakes easily.

Papermate Flair

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If I don’t use a fountain pen, I use a Papermate Flair. They’re cheap, come in numerous colors, and take only a few seconds to dry. I like color coding notes in Latin with them, or with their cousin, the Papermate Inkjoys.

Nock Co. Holdout, $25 

IMG_0646The Holdout is a sturdy case that can hold three fountain pens. I don’t need to carry my entire collection around (but sometimes I still do lol). I love Nock Co. cases because they are made of flexible canvas instead of leather. I don’t worry about tossing it into my backpack.

Other Supplies:

  • Mini stapler
  • earbuds
  • sticky notes/tabs
  • Blank index cards for Latin and Art History
  • Anker battery charger

Self explanatory. My mini stapler has saved me when a paper is due but there’s no stapler in the vicinity! Earbuds are essential on campus when you’re studying in the library, walking to class, sitting on the grass chilling out, etc. I also carry around flashcards in a plastic case because Latin and Art History classes use up SO MANY of them. Another essential is a battery charger. My phone loses battery so quickly that I carry one around in case. I bought an Anker one on Amazon for around $25.

I hope you enjoyed my daily carry post! It was fun to write.

Notebook Shopping at Target

I loved back to school shopping as a child! It was the one time where I was allowed to pick out a giant stack of notebooks, pens, pencils and other stationery. I stalked the aisles, grabbing enough supplies to last the whole year and then some. Some of my favorite notebooks had floral designs, T.V. show characters, or glittery covers. There were fun trends too, like the year everyone bought Japanese erasers and bendy rulers! As much as I love fountain pen friendly stationery, the designs are often muted and boring in comparison. So I decided to look for that childhood wonder at my local Target. The mission was to find cute, but fountain pen friendly composition notebooks. Yes, I was inspired by Les from Comfortable Shoes Studio and her reviews of back to school notebooks. 🙂 I tested paper using an EF Blackwing, Sharpie Pen, Papermate Flair and Papermate Inkjoy, along with my currently inked pens.

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My go to used to be Studio C, which always had pretty covers but also had paper that showed off shading and sheen! Unfortunately, they went out of business and don’t show up on shelves anymore. 😦 My stockpile won’t last me forever, so I was looking for a replacement. Here are the specs for one of mine:

Studio C College Ruled Composition Book

  • 100 sheets
  • $3.49

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The one I tested was from the Silver Linings collection. I love the silver tape and motivational quote, “Live Your Dreams” on the front cover. The inside is just as lovely as the inside. The lines are college ruled and a pale blue. The paper skews cooler than the other notebooks I tested. It is wonderful for fountain pens, showing shading and sheen! The notebook is durable. The cover is made of thick cardstock that doesn’t bend easily.

Mead College Ruled Comp Book

  • 70 sheets
  • 99 cents

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The hot pink cover and tape lured me in, despite the ugly page of coupons attached. The plastic cover is sturdy enough despite not being cardstock. It also has a plastic page sandwiched in between the cover and pages which is nice. However, the paper inside was disappointing. It was rough under my pen. In my drying test, the ink was absorbed in under three seconds. The lines are a dark blue and don’t blend in. Nibs were a size larger on this paper. There was no shading, only a flat color. I saw feathering too. There was show through and bleeding too. I don’t recommend this paper! Even my Blackwing felt unpleasant.

Mead Five Star College Ruled Composition Book

  • 100 sheets
  • $2.49

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I was really hoping this could live up to the Studio C, but sadly it doesn’t. It has has 100 sheets but is a lower price. The cover has white tape and a pretty image of swirling paint.  The plastic cover sticks to the front and back pages so I have to pull them apart every time I open the notebook. My writing size stayed close to normal instead of increasing in width. There was also shading. But there was feathering in my larger nibs. My blue inks, like PenBBS #44 and Bungubox June Bride seemed to bleed through to the back more than Kobe Arima Amber. I could still use this with smaller nibs and red colors apparently. Show through is okay except for blue and green inks which bled more!

More than Magic Wide Ruled Composition Book

  • 80 sheets
  • $1.99

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This was the best notebook of all! I only wish it came in college ruled and had more pages. More Than Magic is a Target brand that sells sparkly, holographic, cosmic- themed school supplies. I was attracted to their “stand” instantly, guess I’m still a child at heart. 😀 The notebook has holographic tape and writing that says “Find your light” behind a purple space background. Inside is another quote, “You are amazing”. The lines are wide ruled and not too dark for me. This was the best paper yet! All my pens behaved well, with shading and a bit of sheen. No feathering either. It took longer to dry fully, 15 seconds, but that means ink had time to pool and create shading. There was a negligible amount of show through on the back.

West Emory Composition Book

  • 50 sheets
  • Forgot the price

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I know this wasn’t a real composition book despite being labeled one. But I couldn’t resist the holographic cover. This notebook had light gray lines and space at the top for headings. Sadly, the paper also was absorbant, so ink took only five seconds to dry. My lines increased in width. There was splotching where ink usually pools. Show through wasn’t bad except for the PenBBS #44, which is a very pigmented ink.

Overall, if you’re looking for cute, colorful composition books I’d check out More than Magic, Mead Five Star if you experiment with inks that work, or Studio C if you find any remaining stock!