(Susan M. Pigott is a fountain pen collector, pen and paperholic, photographer, and professor. You can find more from Susan on her blog Scribalishess.)
In 2017, I reviewed the Midori MD A5 Notebook (Gridded). I use this notebook for poetry writing. The paper is fantastic, and the grid lines mean I can write in portrait or landscape as my mood dictates.
Every time I go to the Midori page on JetPens, I gaze at the Goat Leather cover for the A5 notebooks. I click through all the photos. I read the reviews. I imagine how goat leather might feel between my fingers. I think of the lovely leather smell. Then I look at the price ($84.00) and tell myself, “No. Too much. I mean, the leather doesn’t come in cool colors like blue or burgundy. It doesn’t have a closure. It won’t hold fountain pens. No. No. No.”
Well . . . obviously I caved, because here I am reviewing the Goat Leather cover.
It comes in a simple cardboard box with a label identifying it as the Midori Goat Leather cover (it even has a line-drawn goat).
The cover is wrapped in a simple black pouch to protect it from scuffing.
Made from a single piece of goat leather, the cover is a light cream color with simple stitching around the borders and a seam along the back.
Inside, there are two pockets for inserting the notebook.
Each one has a small cut in the leather that can serve as a pocket for cards or maybe even a smaller notebook, but both are really just slits in the leather, not actual pockets.
There is also a small pen loop. It’s so small even a thin fountain pen like a Parker 51 won’t fit.
But it will accommodate a small pen like the Caran d’Ache 849 Nespresso Ballpoint.
I carry my pens in dedicated fountain pen cases, anyway, so the fact that the pen holder is small doesn’t bother me. I’m sure I could stretch it to accommodate larger pens, but I like the simple aesthetic of the notebook and the pen holder sits flat if you don’t want to use it.
The only branding on the notebook is a tiny “Midori” imprint on the inside back cover.
The Midori A5 Notebook fits perfectly, of course, since the cover is made specifically for it.
Although the goat leather is a rather bland tan color, you’re supposed to place it near a window with lots of sun for two or three weeks. The cover will gradually change from light tan to beige to amber.
I really, really want to use my cover right away, but I’m going to leave it in our Florida Room for the requisite time and watch the color evolve.
And how does the leather feel? Well, it’s exquisite. It’s much softer than cow leather--so silky smooth, yet it also has a beautiful texture when you look at it up close. Even the inside grain is much smoother and softer than cow leather.
Although I still think that $84.00 is an extravagant price for this simple cover, I wanted something special to protect my Midori MD, since I plan to carry it everywhere for poetry writing. I expect it to develop a gorgeous hue the more I use it. I’ll follow up with pictures in a few months.
You can purchase the Midori MD Goat Leather Notebook Cover (A5) from JetPens for $84.00.
(I purchased this cover with my own funds.)
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