If there has been something in the past few years that has caused the world of stationery to become more outraged, I am not aware of it. The rumor mill was unable to sort out the truth about what was left of the world's supply of Tomoe River paper before the news spread throughout the fountain community that Tomoe River paper would no longer be manufactured. This resulted in reams of the paper disappearing from shelves before the rumor mill could even sort out the truth.
I will be the first to admit that I emailed Yunus in a panic and asked for a spare set (okay, fine, two spare sets of my favorite sizes of Everyday Books to be sent. I will also be the first to admit that I am not ashamed to admit that I did this. My reliable B5 Everyday Book is a luxury item that I almost can't live without. Yunus maintained his composure throughout our back and forth conversation. He calmed my frazzled "in love with 68gsm" nerves and assured me that Galen had a fair amount of Tomoe River paper in stock (the old version for you purists out there), and that there were also some alternatives that I needed to give a chance to or revisit after abandoning them for TR. He also reassured me that Galen had a fair amount of Tomoe River paper in stock (the old version for you purists out there).
fountain pen journal
You will discover that Japan is home to a wide variety of stunning papers that, while they might not be able to take Tomoe River's place entirely, are worthy competitors and, in certain contexts, even represent an improvement over the option being considered. I was able to pick up on those audible gasps. It's accurate!
Here are the six notebooks that are compatible with fountain pens that I tried out and found to be hopeful for a bright future for both myself and my pens (by the way, the melodrama in this sentence has been slightly exaggerated). (People, it's just a piece of paper!)
This is as traditional as traditional can be. Let's begin with the cover, which features a straightforward white cloth tape binding and a book jacket made of glassine. (There is something about the cover's crinkle that reminds me of the crinkle of Tomoe River.) The paper, production of which was begun by Midori in 1960 and has been ongoing ever since, has been steadily improved over the past sixty plus years to be pleasurable, comfortable, and provide the ideal amount of feedback. It comes with a bookmark that you can use to keep track of your progress as well as stickers that you can use to mark the dates that the notebook was used for cataloging purposes.
LIFE NOBLE NOTEBOOK
The Life Paper company has been producing their exquisite paper for a significant amount of time—to be more specific, since the 1940s—and it is truly remarkable. It had been kept a secret for a very long time, and the world outside of Japan didn't learn about it until the turn of the 21st century. I was in my friend Chandra Greer's stationery store in Chicago when I came across this elusive paper, and I was immediately taken aback by both the design and the quality of it. Going back over this paper was like catching up with an old friend. It has the appearance of warm cream, has a texture that is both smooth and thick, and you can sense each of the 100 different hands that worked on it as it was being produced outside of Tokyo. It is a handmade luxury, a true beauty, and I am delighted to say that I have included it once again in my rotation.
MARUMAN MNEMOSYNE NOTEBOOKThese notebooks are named after the Greek goddess of Memory, and when you write your memories down in one of these notebooks, they will be safe and sound for a very long time. It is a stunningly microperforated book with thoughtful details that add to the book's streamlined and elegant interior, which is protected by a stylish and durable black exterior. Paper with a brightness of 80 gsm and a weight of white can tolerate significant amounts of ink, glue stick, and even a wash of watercolor. Both students and working professionals can benefit from having one of these handy notebooks.
NOTEBOOK FOR THE APICA CDThe Apica is a portable notebook that has a slim profile and contains 28 pages. It also offers the flexibility of having multiple copies of itself so that you can organize your projects or use it for different subjects. These notebooks have been manufactured since 1987. Their covers have a vintage aesthetic that lends them a bit of flair, and their covers are sturdy enough to house bright, smooth, white paper. It is cost-effective, and it won't add extra weight to the bag you carry around with you every day. Notebooks of the Apica brand should be in everyone's possession.
Stalogy notebooks have been one of my go-to resources for a very long time. Even when I was in the middle of my passionate relationship with Tomoe River, I almost always had a Stalogy on hand. They have one of my most beloved characteristics of TR, which is their crinkle! I really enjoy the crinkly sound!) The addition of printing that enables one to easily date the page makes it an excellent notebook for journaling as well as course work; however, you may require reading glasses or a magnifying glass in order to read the printing.
Whether you choose the full year or the half year size, the fact that the paper is so thin makes it an excellent option for day-to-day carry. In addition, the limited-edition color options that were introduced this year have made it a desirable option for me to consider as a potential TR replacement.
COSMO AIR LIGHT EVERYDAY BOOK
Cosmo Air Light is likely the type of paper that has been suggested most frequently in the community as a potential savior in the event that all of the TR has been depleted and none of our supplies are left. Surprisingly, it is not necessarily due to the fact that it is a similar paper; its texture, weight, and how it reacts with ink do not really resemble TR at all. In a manner analogous to the former, it enables writing implements such as pens and inks to be displayed. On the Cosmo Air Light, colors have a vivid appearance. On this paper, shading and sheening are both given extensive attention to detail. The paper has a smooth sheen to it and almost a glossy appearance. If you want a paper with some degree of feedback, this is not the one for you. On the other hand, if you want your pen to move quickly across the page, this is the paper for you.
Therefore, members of the fountain pen community, whom I adore, let's keep an open mind and show some appreciation for papers other than the stash of Tomoe River you've been hoarding in case you need it someday. Do you have a go-to alternative of your own? I would really appreciate it if you could share your thoughts on it in the comments section. After all, there is no such thing as having an excessive amount of selection when it comes to notebooks and paper.
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