The build quality of Leuchtturm notebooks is always bound to impress. They're simple, functional, and durable--and with the bright colors, they're also fun. The Pocket A6 Sketchbook has all of the staple necessities of a standard Leuchtturm: a sturdy hardback cover, expandable back pocket, ribbon bookmark, elastic closure, thread binding, acid-free paper, and sticker labels. Because it's a sketchbook and not a journal, the pages are blank and not numbered, and there is no index in the front. Perhaps it's my inner librarian talking, but I'd still love a table of contents, even for sketches.
The paper is white, 180 gsm. It has a good bit of tooth to it and works best with pencil, rollerball ink, and brush pen or marker. I was surprised that there was no feathering with the wet marker I used. Fountain pens feathered a little, but not as much as I expected. I think this notebook would hold up well for pen-and-ink drawings, or could be used as a freeform journal.
I tried a dip pen with a flex nib, and that didn't go well at all. The nib snagged at the page, the ink feathered like a baby chicken, and it bled through the page and onto the next one. The paper stood up to some light watercolor use. There was some mild wrinkling, but not severe. In places where water was used more heavily, however, there was a little bleeding and deterioration of the paper.
The notebook does lay open quite well once the spine has been trained. It's a bit stiff at first, but putting it through a little notebook yoga did wonders. At 96 pages of thick paper, this book has a lot of girth for a small sketchbook. Despite its claim to being a pocket notebook, I don't think it would fit comfortably in a pocket, and it didn't fit in my pocket notebook cases. It is, however, a good size for slipping into a purse or briefcase for on-the-go sketches. It wouldn't take up much space in a daypack or messenger bag. The plentiful pages would be nice for travel, when you need something portable but don't want to run out of pages or carry multiple books.
My nine-year-old, who has claimed this on the grounds that it is his favorite color, intends to use it to write out LEGO instructions for his very complicated and important designs.
I personally prefer my sketchbooks to handle more sloppy media, but I think this book has a lot to offer a pen-and-ink or pencil sketcher with places to be. You just can't beat Leuchtturm's sturdy reliability.
(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)
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