Curnow Bookbinding Backpocket Journal Review

As a frequent fountain pen user I find it hard to beat Tomoe River Paper for every day use, especially if you want to show off your inks. When it first became a hot item, users were limited to loose sheets of Tomoe. Fun to use, but not exactly functional or portable.

Since then, many companies have been able to get their hands on the pixie dust and turn it into all kinds of bound products. Curnow Bookbinding was the first I recall to bind it into smaller formats, most notably the memo book sized Backpocket Journal.

This pocket rocket contains 48 pages of blank, cream-colored Tomoe River paper. The binding is hand-stitched tightly, and the size is just a tick shorter than standard memo book, checking in at 3.5” x 5.25”. Included with each three pack is a lined guide card to help keep your lines straight if needed.

The overall package is nice, if bare-bones. That’s completely fine by me, because it’s what’s between the covers that counts. What Tomoe River paper does for fountain pen inks is a turning point for many people. It is so thin that you think you are writing on tissue paper, but without the feathering and bleed. Unless you pour ink onto the page you aren’t going to see either of those things.

Even more importantly, the paper allows the ink to shine, almost literally. If you want to see any and every feature an ink has you must use Tomoe River. All of the shading comes out, and inks you never thought had sheen light up around the edges. Using this paper never fails to put a smile on my face.

If I had my druthers I would increase the pages in the journal by at least 50%, if not more. 48 pages is what memo books without thin paper use, giving them a nice, sturdy feel. The Backpocket Journal is flimsy in comparison and could use a bump in that area. But still, it’s Tomoe River paper in a pocket notebook. How much can I complain?

Curnow Bookbinding doesn’t have a traditional storefront you can order from. Instead, you can see their inventory on their Facebook page and contact them directly to order. You can also order from Vanness Pens and see all of the sizes, shapes, and colors that Curnow is offering, including refills to fit your Midori Travelers Notebook.

  Bung Box 4B has a full red sheen in the right light.

Bung Box 4B has a full red sheen in the right light.

Posted on March 7, 2016 and filed under Tomoe River, Notebook Reviews.