Writing with a good fountain pen is a pastime many people enjoy. Whether your writing involves official business or simply recording your thoughts on a quiet afternoon, a great fountain pen needs an equally worthy notebook. As anyone who uses excellent fountain pens knows, writing in a quality notebook is more than just an ordinary task. The following is a detailed look at what a good fountain pen journal would include and some of the best notebooks for fountain pens.
Fountain Pen Notebook Types
There are several types of notebooks fountain pen enthusiasts have to choose from. The following are different types and the benefits of each.
- Ring Notebook - A ring notebook features a spiral ring binding. This makes it easy to open the book completely flat when you're writing. It is often easier to tear out individual pages or fold the notebook over on itself if you don't have a flat surface available.
- Elastic Notebook - This type has a band to hold the notebook closed when you're not using it. The elastic band can keep items organized if you have a lot of loose papers inside.
- Refillable Notebook - As the name states, these notebooks are designed to be refilled with paper. Since refillable notebooks are meant to be kept for longer periods of time, some include features such as high quality covers made for long-term use.
- Standard Notebook - This type of notebook usually has a soft cover. They come in a variety of sizes and with different paper types. These normally have a glued, stitched, or stapled binding.
Fountain Pen Notebook Features
There's not an official definition for fountain pen paper. There are, however, certain types of paper that are better suited for use with fountain pens. Whether you're using a Namiki Yukari Royale or a Lamy Al-Star Special Edition, there are generally a few traits that most fountain pen writers will look for in quality paper.
- Bleeding - Ink that soaks through to the other side of the paper, or even the next page, means not getting your money's worth or all the space you thought you could use for writing. Thickness and quality of the paper will make a huge difference in how much bleeding occurs.
- Feathering - Feathering is a specific type of ink bleeding; in particular from the edges of each letter. To keep ink from expanding some companies treat their paper with an additive known as surface sizing.
- Ghosting Through - This is when the ink is visible on the other side of the paper. This isn't as extreme as bleeding, but can still ruin the back side of a piece of paper for a writer.
- Ink Dry Times - Unless you're one who sits and ponders each thought after writing a sentence, ink dry time is important. Ink will normally dry slower on smoother paper.
- Smoothness - If sheer enjoyment of writing matters most, a paper that is glassy smooth is probably your best choice. If Ink dry times are more important, you'll want to choose a paper that's a bit toothier.
- Paper GSM Thickness - Fountain pen friendly paper should be on the thick side in order to prevent bleeding, ghosting, and feathering. Most high quality paper is at least 80 to 90 grams per square meter.
Fountain Pen Notebook Brands
There are several specific brands of notebooks that pen enthusiasts can choose from. The following are a few of the most popular brands, with benefits and drawbacks of each.
- LeStallion: The LeStallion notebook impresses right from the beginning with a gorgeous faux leather cover. The journal has an array of incredible features including 120gsm paper weight that provides extremely low bleed. It comes with beautiful colored edging and a metal trinket bookmark. With a table of contents, numbered pages, and a rear storage pocket, it's hard to go wrong with this notebook.
- Rhodia: Rhodia is one of the most well-known notebooks available. The journal features ivory colored paper with a smooth surface. It's available in both A5 and pocket size. This fountain pen journal produces a particularly good elastic notebook with a glued spine and 90gsm paper. The paper is almost too smooth if you want to switch to pencils.
- Clairefontaine: The Clairefontaine notebooks offer a variety of colored covers to choose from. Clairefontaine not only features gorgeous 90gsm paper, but it's also environmentally friendly. The paper comes from sustainable, self-managed forests. The binding is glued. There is little to no feathering or bleeding with this notebook.
- Soho Spark: These notebooks have a stitch binding, 80gsm paper weight, and are available in lined, dotted, and blank paper. The emphasis on the cover designs are what makes these journals stand out. There are mountains, trees, and other interesting designs to choose from. Feathering and bleeding, however, are a bit high.
- Tomoe River: This notebook offers super light paper weight at 52gsm. Even though it's thin, it does hold ink well. It also provides a gorgeous sheen, but does take a while for the ink to dry.
- Leuchtturm1917: These simple but elegant notebooks have a lot of features including two ribbon page markers, a rear pocket, and numbered pages. However, the paper weight is only 80gsm and there is a bit of ghosting.
- Apica Premium C.D.: This notebook has a stitch binding and 86.5gsm paper weight. It comes in a variety of sizes and page styles. The paper isn't quite as thick or high quality as some of the other notebook choices available.
- Baron Fig Vanguard: The Baron Fig Vanguard is a slim, elegant notebook with stitch binding. It comes in three sizes and has a paper weight of 90gsm. The notebook has rounded corners and boasts a fast dry time. The pages are available in lined, dotted, and blank. While the cover is pretty, it's not stiff enough to write on.
- Itoya Romeo: This is a notebook for someone who doesn't need a lot of extra features such as page markers, page numbers, or elastic closures. If you're looking for exquisite paper to write on, this is for you. With 109.2gsm and low ghosting, bleeding, and feathering, this is truly fountain pen friendly paper. One drawback is that it does take quite a while for the ink to dry.
While the best notebooks for fountain pens are ultimately in the eyes of the beholder, these tips and information can help you select the best fountain pen journal to make your writing experience as extraordinary as possible.
LeStallion Fountain Pen Journal
LeStallion Soft Cover PU Leather Journals comes in 120GSM fountain pen friendly paper, that has been battle tested to be compatible for fountain pen use! The paper is anti-ghosting, and anti-bleed-through, making it the perfect journal for fountain pen users, and one of the best notebooks for fountain pens.SHOP LESTALLION