Midori MD Goat Leather Notebook Cover - A5: A Review

Midori MD Goat Leather Notebook Cover Review

(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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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There is also a small pen loop. It’s so small even a thin fountain pen like a Parker 51 won’t fit.

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But it will accommodate a small pen like the Caran d’Ache 849 Nespresso Ballpoint.

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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.

Midori Imprint.jpg

The Midori A5 Notebook fits perfectly, of course, since the cover is made specifically for it.

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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.

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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.

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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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Posted on February 22, 2019 and filed under Midori, Notebook Reviews.

Robert Oster Thunderstorm Ink Review

Robert Oster Thunderstorm Ink Review

(Sarah Read is an author, editor, yarn artist, and pen/paper/ink addict. You can find more about her at her website and on Twitter. And check out her first novel, The Bone Weaver’s Orchard, now available where books are sold!)

Robert Oster is an ink wizard. Thunderstom is a newer offering in his lineup of enchanted and enchanting inks. At first glance, it looks black. Just plain old black. But when the light hits it, Ah! Maybe it's navy! Then, do I see teal? Purple? What is happening???

Robert Oster Thunderstorm Ink

If I had to classify the color, I'd call it a blue-black. It's subtle enough to be a good work ink, but has the complexity to bring some fun to your desk. Fine layers of it show up as a smoky grey-blue and concentrated areas look anywhere from navy blue to black. The color is almost impossible to photograph. Its closest color relatives that I've encountered are Aurora Blue-Black and Kobe 7, though both of those have crazy sheen and Thunderstom has none. Even where it pools it looks like it has a matte finish, which adds to its deep color complexity.

Robert Oster Thunderstorm Ink Water Resistance

It's very well lubricated and flows out of the pen nicely, but also dries quickly. It has no water resistance--the drip test pretty much erased it all. It doesn't bleed or feather on Rhodia paper or on the ink sample card. It does on regular printer paper, but that's expected.

Robert Oster Thunderstorm Ink Chromatography

The most surprising thing about this ink was the chromatography test. I mean... Pink? I did not see that coming! How does blue and grey come from pink? With magic, I guess. But the colors that split were cobalt blue and pink, and somehow they make this awesome, subtle color.

Robert Oster Thunderstorm Ink Comparison

This isn't one of those colors that leaps out at you from first sight, but it gradually makes its character known the more you see it. If you're looking for an ink that can subtly liven up some boring paperwork that still has to appear businesslike, this is a great choice. It's $17 for 50 ml at JetPens, which is fantastic value for ink these days. It's one color I'll always have a use for.

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


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Robert Oster Thunderstorm Ink Test
Posted on February 21, 2019 and filed under Robert Oster, Ink Reviews.

Zebra Sparky-2 Highlighter Review

Zebra Sparky-2 Highlighter Review

(Jeff Abbott is a regular contributor at The Pen Addict. You can find more from Jeff online at Draft Evolution and Twitter.)

Highlighters are one of those stationery items that many people keep on hand without fussing about the features and quality of the ink, tips, and other items. Even though highlighters aren't an exciting genre of our world, they are something you expect to work well when you need them. When it's time to mark up a book or some notes, it's good to have options. The Zebra Sparky-2 highlighters are great at both making marks and providing a great amount of variety in color and tip size.

Double-sided highlighters aren't a new invention, and you could even argue that they're the new baseline these days. Who doesn't want the option of a thick or thin line from the same pen? Even so, manufacturers have to tick several products and offer a compelling product. The Sparky-2 is a well-performing highlighter with a couple of nice features to set it apart from the pack.

Zebra Sparky-2 Highlighter Colors

The liquid ink is resistant to both light and water, making it a great option for annotating notes and textbooks. Your marks will stand the test of time and play nicely with most inks and papers. Fountain pen inks can sometimes bleed and smear under a highlighter, but this is a problem that impacts any highlighter. With gel pens, ballpoints, and pencils, you'll never deal with any smearing or bluring.

The ink is also very bright and fluorescent without being too dark. I've used highlighters in the past that made it difficult to read the text or notes that they covered. This is not the case with the Zebra Sparky-2 highlighters, and I'd even prefer the green highlighter to be a bit darker.

Zebra Sparky-2 Highlighters

Another great trick that the Spark-2 pens offer is a protective covering around the tip. The purpose of this small sleeve is two-fold: one, it adds rigidity to the tip so that it doesn't collapse over time, and it also prevents ink from getting on a ruler or straightedge if you run the highlighter alongside it. It's not something I've ever wished for, but now I wish that all highlighters were made this way!

Zebra Sparky-2 Highlighter Cap

As an added bonus, both caps can post to their sibling cap, meaning you don't have to keep trck of these small, clear caps. Losing a cap is a death sentence for the liquid ink tip!

Finally, the number of color options available in this line is astounding. At a total of ten (10!) colors, you should be able to differentiate your notes and research with no problem. Add in the fact that each pen has two sizes of tip, and that's effectively 20 highlighters.

The three-pack of yellow, green, and pink that I'm using comes in at just $6, which is a great deal for such a great and useful product. If you spring for the 10-pack of all colors, they'll come in just under $16, which is also an incredible value.

Pick up a set for yourself or the industrious student in your life!

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


Enjoy reading The Pen Addict? Then consider becoming a member to receive additional weekly content, giveaways, and discounts in The Pen Addict shop. Plus, you support me and the site directly, for which I am very grateful.

Membership starts at just $5/month, with a discounted annual option available. To find out more about membership click here and join us!

Zebra Sparky-2 Highlighter Writing
Posted on February 20, 2019 and filed under Zebra, Highlighter, Pen Reviews.