The Maruman Mnemosyne N195 Special Memo Notepad, like its other Mnemosyne siblings, is a notebook that easily makes the cut for replacing your standard Moleskine notebook. Sure, it's spiral-bound, but you'll probably be able to forgive that once you try the paper.
I've always enjoyed the N196, which is the same format as this notebook except that the spiral binding is on top. While that's a great format for some purposes, I also enjoy using a side bound notebook as well.
It's easy to compare this notebook to the top-bound brother because they're very similar. The sizes are a bit different, where the side-bound notebook is A5 and the top-bound is B6, and the former has 80 pages instead of 50 like the top-bound book. But, the same paper is used in both, which is the real star.
The N195 is an example of a "perfect notebook" for my use. I love the A5 size pages for most purposes, and it's one of the biggest things I consider when looking for a new general purpose notebook. This one fits the bill nicely with dimensions of 6 x 8.25 inches and 7mm ruling. The ruling spacing hits a sweet spot for me. It's not too small, but it still works well with my small-medium writing style.
The Mnemosyne N195 is built well for being a soft cover spiral-bound book. The wire binding is strong and resilient against bending in loaded bags. The fact that it's a twin spiral also keeps the pages more secure from tearing out, which is helpful with perforated pages. It always irritates me when a page tears out from the binding instead of tearing at the perforation. I've never had that problem with this notebook.
The covers are pliable, but still sturdy. They're the perfect weight for protecting the pages inside a bag, but probably can't defend it from more distressing situations. The cover features the black, minimalistic design as every other Mnemosyne notebook, save for the single gold "Mnemosyne" in the top-right corner of the front cover. Even this branding is small compared to the overall size of the cover. The back cover has a small SKU sticker that is easy to remove. The inside cover has a yellow sheet that features some more branding, including the Mnemosyne tagline, "The ancient Greek goddess of memory," which is a great name for a notebook.
The paper in the Mnemosyne notebooks is exceptional. It's not extremely thin like Tomoe River paper, but it is supple. Some papers have a certain amount of tooth, while others are made to be smooth like glass. Mnemosyne leans heavily toward the "smooth like glass" side of the scale. It's an absolute pleasure to write on.
It handles all types of pens and inks with ease, and dries fairly quickly. The pages aren't numbered, and each page has a section at the top for Date, number, and title. I don't normally use this section, but it's a nice thing to include.
The lines are spaced at 7mm in a light gray dotted pattern. They're very well done and seem to blend into the background when using vibrant inks. There are 80 sheets in the notebook, and each one is micro-perforated.
This notebook is one of my all-time favorites in this spiral-bound A5 category. There are a lot of contenders, but this one takes the cake every time. And, it even beats out a lot of glue- or cloth-bound notebooks as well. Sometimes you just want a good spiral notebook, and the Mnemosyne N195 Special Memo Notepad is an excellent choice.
The N195 is just under $10 at JetPens, which is a great value for this exceptional little notebook.
(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)