Review: Choosing Keeping Notebook

Choosing Keeping is a stationary store located in London, with a well-stocked online shop with familiar and unique notebook offerings. And such beautiful product photos! They also create their own line great line of notebooks.

Choosing Keeping
Choosing Keeping

These two featured here are the Blue and Black Spanish Ripple Marbled and Black Hand Decorated notebooks. The cover is a stiff but thin cardboard, I would put in the softcover category. Textured vinyl tape is wrapped around the spine. It reminds me of the tape on the spine of composition notebooks.

Choosing Keeping

The paper is smooth, and advertised as fountain pen friendly, which is important to a lot of notebook and stationary lovers. I, however, use pigment pens. The paper is lined, with wider ruling (7.5mm).

Choosing Keeping

Above is the comparison of the two notebooks with an A5 Moleskine. This notebook line has black gilt edged, which I have a particular penchant for in the notebooks I pursue. The appeal for me is creating the look of a monolith (if the notebook cover is black). Gilt edged notebooks have a bit of aesthetic flair without adding some unnecessary function.

Choosing Keeping

Specifications:

  • 160 pages
  • 7.5mm line spacing
  • Fountain pen friendly

Where to buy:

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Review: Delfonic’s Chentelham

This notebook is made by Delfonics, of the Rollbahn notebook. This notebook is perfect for me, as I love the beautiful Delfonic’s Rollbahn paper and design, but I’m put off by spiral-bound notebooks. There’s something uncomfortable for me about the wire spirals tangling up like braces.

Delfonics

The cover is this stiff textured vinyl that is somewhere between a softcover or hardcover. The whole notebook can bend in your hand, but you can’t wrap the front cover around to the back with ease. The Chentelham comes in a variety of color (red, green, navy, blue, and black), but mine is black with a brown elastic closure. I find the black and brown doesn’t clash.

Delfonics

The paper is the beautiful Japanese Delfonics paper, with faint grid lines. You’ll recognize this paper used in Delfonics more recognized Rollbahn notebook line. It is a pleasure to write on.

Delfonics

The notebook comes with a minimal plastic pocket in the back cover.

Delfonics

And the comparison with a (well-worn) A5 Moleskine

Delfonics Delfonics

Specifications:

  • 5mm grid line spacing
  • 192 pages

Where to buy:

Review: Handle Note 01 Grey & Brass

Handle is a new notebook company, and I had been waiting in anticipation for these to be released. The price point is somewhat steep (€25.00 + €7.50 for shipping). Currently they have a 20% off coupon (NOTE01LAUNCH), so my total was about $30.95. While on the higher end for notebook costs, I think it’s worth it. This notebook is my favorite, my new #1, and the next I’ll be using.

The notebook comes in a sweet box, much like Baron Fig products. It served its purpose, and protected my notebook in the post.

Handle Note01

The cover is advertised as gray leather. I’m unsure if that means genuine leather, bonded leather, etc. Nonetheless, It’s beautiful.

Handle Note01

The back cover has “Handle” embossed on the bottom.

Handle Note01

The notebook has gray leather cover, with brass gilt-edging. I find the color combination very pleasing. I have a thing for gilt-edge notebooks. You can see the Handle Note 01 above a Moleskine notebook (for reference)

Handle Note01

The promo pictures on the Handleware website include no pictures of inside the notebook and the paper. So I was in for a surprise. And it was a pleasant one! The paper feels a lot like Moleskine paper, but slightly thicker. They don’t specify anything about the paper, so I can’t say what the weight is. The line spacings are 6mm, and bronze.

Handle Note01

The biggest pleasant surprise was the amount of stitchings per signature: 20 stitchings! Basically, the more stitchings the sturdier the notebook. To see how many stitchings a (smyth-sewn) notebook has, open to the middle of any signature, and count the number of holes, which is where the thread goes through. Most notebooks have about 4-10 stitchings. (a Moleskine has 10 stitchings). My current Nanami Seven Seas Writer has 8.

In the below picture you can see the plentiful stitchings, the bronze lines. You can also see that when the notebook lays open in the middle, the leather bunches together and creates a little divot. That is my only complaint, and very minor.

Handle Note01

Specifications

  • 200 pages
  • lined
  • 6mm lines
  • gilt edge

Where to buy:

Review: Labrador Paper Notebook Triangle

The Notebook Triangle is made by Labrador Paper, based in Thailand. I was attracted to this notebook for the unique design of the cut corners. I love the aesthetic and the way it looks. This notebook is one of my favorite designs.

Triangle Notebook Labrador Paper

The notebook is bare cardboard dyed a camel color, with a vinyl spine. The elastic band is a quality rubber band. I’m careful with my notebooks, but I do worry about the long-term durability of the cardboard cover. The company’s philosophy of sustainable and ecological design is embodied in the materials: bare cardboard, rubber band and green read paper. And they execute it really well.

I love the unique design of the notebook, the cut corners, and the asymmetrical elastic closure. However, since the elastic closure is also asymmetrical and doesn’t press evenly on the cover, as you can see, the cover stays somewhat lifted at the bottom. After keeping the notebook on my bookshelf tightly pressed between books on a full shelf, it went away.

Triangle Notebook Labrador Paper

The paper is billed as Green Read Paper, which is designed to reduce light reflection hitting the paper, and this reduces strain on the eyes. The paper has some slight texture to the touch. Writing on the paper is nice, however. The description states the notebook will lay completely flat, which I did not find. The binding is pretty tight, but perhaps over time the binding will loosen up and lay flat.

Triangle Notebook Labrador Paper

There’s a small pocket in both the front and back cover. Included in the back pocket is a set of colored cardboard bookmark tabs.

Triangle Notebook Labrador Paper Triangle Notebook Labrador Paper

I don’t think I’ll be using these bookmark tabs, but I they’re pretty cool.

Triangle Notebook Labrador Paper

The Notebook Triangle below an A5 Moleskine Notebook for reference.
Triangle Notebook Labrador Paper

Specifications

  • A5
  • 144 pages
  • 8mm lines

Where to Buy:

  • Homu Store (if located in Southeast Asia)
  • Stickerrific (if located in US. They were so helpful and wonderful!!)