Life Noble Note notebook and TWSBI Eco update
I used up the last few pages of the Muji lined notebook I’d been using for morning pages and started a new-to-me notebook, made by the Life Stationery Company in Japan. The company has been around since 1946 and makes a range of products. These notebooks are available at a variety of online retailers, but I hate buying notebooks sight unseen. Luckily for me, my somewhat local Japanese stationery store stocks them and I picked up the plain version a few months ago. I’ve mostly used plain paper for my morning pages and I like having lots of pages, but it’s a tradeoff between a bulky notebook (my Bindewerk was 144 sheets with hard covers) vs. easy to carry but fairly quick to use up (my Muji was 72 sheets with soft covers).
The Noble Note falls somewhere between the two in terms of expense as well. I have to import the Bindewerks from Germany and the shipping gets quite high, whereas the Mujis are available locally and are at the inexpensive end of the spectrum. You can pick up a Noble Note for about $15 through Amazon (my local store charges $15.95, which I think is pretty reasonable for a small independent retailer).
The paper is ivory colored and very smooth, but all the inks I used dried rapidly despite that. I had no smearing whatsoever, even with my Cross with the Daily Italic nib (I’ve found the Cross ink to be pretty wet on other paper).
You can see that there is some shadowing from the writing on the next page, but no bleedthrough, and I was writing with a Montblanc M pen with Montblanc ink, which I find to be pretty wet. It takes everything from the TWSBI F point (pen pictured in first photo) to the Cross (used for the writing on the title page) without difficulty, and they all dry pretty fast. I got a fair amount of shading using an older Montblanc with a somewhat flexy M nib and MB ink, as well as with a Parker Sonnet F point with Parker ink, but less with other inks (including a different MB with MB ink).
I’ve only written a few pages in the notebook (albeit with quite a few different pens and inks), so I can’t say definitively how I feel about it yet, but so far it’s working really well. It may turn out to be my “just right” notebook for morning pages.
I included the TWSBI Eco in the first photo because I wanted to write a bit about it now that I’ve been using it steadily for a few months. It’s a great pen, especially for the price. I’ve had no quality issues, the ink flow is reliable, it hasn’t leaked on plane flights or the drive out (where the altitude ranged from below sea level to 9000 feet), and it’s just a pleasure to write with. I can’t believe the amount of ink it holds — quite a bit more than my Pelikan m400, which is my other everyday piston filler.
That said, I’ve discovered that while I love Japanese F points for writing in planners (I need to be able to write small and the Tomoe River paper does best with F in terms of drying time), I don’t like writing with them in morning pages, when I’m taking notes, or when I’m writing longhand at any length. I like the flow I get from European M points and also the two italic nibs I have (Linda Kennedy’s Daily Italic grind and a Prera 1.0mm stub nib). The F points just don’t write as quickly as I want them to, and they don’t flow the same way (obviously, since there’s less ink coming out).
It’s nice to have the range, though. If I had to use M points in planners I’d have a mess on my hands.
I have nothing to say except I love this kind of post. Oh, wait, no, I do: this is the only thing that makes me regret falling for a Canadian. If I search this notebook on Amazon, it offers me one from a 3rd party seller in the US for $60. This is why I have gone back to my long-time journal option, basic sketchbooks from the art supply store. With a softcover Clairfontaine book from the college bookstore as my travel option.
I think I might need an Eco. I like my other TWSBI but it has developed a leak. I use a cheap Sailor pen made for school kids for my planner/to-do list, because it has a very fine nib. It writes very smoothly, considering, and is easy to write small/doesn’t ghost too much.
Turns out I always have something to say about pens and notebooks. 😉
Ouch. That is a ridiculous price. I googled for Canadian stories and Wonderpens in Toronto sells them for $17.50 CDN, which sounds much better. There is shipping, of course.
I am surprised at how much I like the Eco, because I really don’t use big pens much (My Montblanc 149 has been parked for ages). But it’s well balanced and the nib is great. And it holds so much ink that I don’t have to think about refilling for ages. Of course that also means I’d better like the ink color I choose …
ETA: Whoops, sorry, that was for the B6 size. The A5 is $21.00 CDN. The other place to look (although you may already know what they stock) is Kinokuniya. I haven’t been to the ones in SF and San Jose, but I know many of the stores carry stationery.
There’s a Kinokuniya in Seattle. Now, you’ll have to come visit.
Huh. My gravatar disappeared.
All the gravatars disappeared! I don’t know why. I’ll see what I can figure out.
Glad to know that Linda Kennedy’s Daily Italic grind that you got at the pen show is working well.
And it’s great that you like the Eco. I love the Eco for the edgy feel and the huge amount of ink it holds and how evenly it writes. It works for my rotated hold as well.
I’m continuing to enjoy my softcover Kokuyo notebooks. (Does your husband still like it?) The paper is very smooth with almost no ghosting. I like the fineness and smoothness better than the Clairefontaine paper, which tends to run dry, making it difficult to write with the Metropolitan. I used to love the CF paper till I tried a couple Japanese notebooks. Now there’s no going back.
Like you, I have different pens inked up for daily use and write my Morning Pages with different pens every day. I like mixing it up.
He does still like the Kokuyo and I think he just got some looseleaf sheets for his A5 binder. Clairefontaine paper is too smooth for me, and it takes so long to dry, relatively speaking. The Noble Note is not as smooth as that, but smoother than Midori MD paper, for example. I’ve generally liked “toothy” paper but this combination of smoothness and drying time is great.