(Susan M. Pigott is a fountain pen collector, pen and paperholic, photographer, and professor. You can find more from Susan on her blog Scribalishess.)
Galen Leather has galloped onto the scene with beautiful leather products. I am reviewing their leather notebook cover for 3.5 x 5.5 size notebooks.
The review unit sent to Pen Addict is a beautiful burgundy color. This particular model is $44.00, but there are other versions ranging from $37.00 to $39.00. I’ve been carrying this in my purse for a couple of months, and the leather is unmarred and as perfect as the day I removed it from its box.
The notebook comes in a brown cardboard box.
An evil eye charm is also enclosed. I wish the charm was attached to a ribbon or a band so you could use it as a bookmark or a cover closure.
The cover and inside pockets are hand-stitched with waxed thread.
Inside there is a pen holder and two pockets for credit cards or business cards, plus the pockets for inserting a notebook.
The leather is soft and supple unlike many notebook covers that are made of more rigid leather.
You can fit a variety of notebooks in this leather cover. It was made with Field Notes in mind, but you can use any notebooks in the 3.5 x 5.5 size (Word Notebooks, Rhodia, etc.). Unfortunately this version is a bit too small for the Hobonichi Techo (though Galen makes a cover specifically for the Hobonichi).
This is a lovely cover, but there are a few things I don’t like about it. First, the pen holder is too small to hold most fountain pens. In fact, the only one that fits (barely) is my Lamy 2000. Since this notebook is in my purse, and I don’t like my fountain pens being exposed, I have been carrying it with a Pilot Hi-Tec C pen instead.
The cover seems to be a bit large for the notebooks it’s made for. For example, if you put a Word notebook in, the cover flops over and seems ill fitted. Of course you can put more than one notebook in to make the cover more rigid, but it seems like the size could be just a bit smaller for these thin notebooks.
Another thing I don’t like about this notebook is that it has no closure. Sure, if you carry notebooks in your pocket, this probably isn’t an issue. But I don’t have pockets in most of my clothes, so this notebook is either in my purse, a backback, or in my hands. Because the leather is so soft, it can easily fold or open up in a bag. I much prefer having a means of closing it to keep cards, the pen, and the notebook protected. A basic snap closure might make this notebook a bit more secure.
I really like Galen leather products. They are made in Instanbul, Turkey. The notebooks are high quality and reasonably priced. They offer a variety of sizes, including Traveler’s Notebook, Moleskine, Leuchtturm1917, Field Notes, Hobonichi, Rhodia, and Baron Fig. Check them out at Galen Leather.
(Galen Leather provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)