Maruai - The Basic Notebook, Pocket and Mini Size 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.)

I think we can all agree that you should have a pen or pencil and paper on you at all times. Pocket tech can't replicate all of analog's necessary functions--people need paper. Especially paper that fits in your pocket. It's what makes pocket notebooks so wonderful--except pocket notebooks don't fit well in my pockets. It's not the notebook's fault--it's a known issue with women's jeans: skimpy pockets. It makes me thankful for handy pocket notebook cases, but I still need paper in my pocket. Sometimes it just needs to be that handy.

My solution has been to use mini notebooks. I've been using the Moleskine minis for years, but I don't love their paper, so I was excited to try these new Mini Notebooks from Maruai.

They come in two sizes, the mini and the pocket size. The mini is 3.2" by 2.2" with 48 blank pages, bound with a side staple. The pocket size is tall and narrow at 4.1" by 2.4", with a sewn and glued top binding and 64 5mm grid pages. Both are small enough to fit in a pocket, and the mini can even fit in a wallet card slot. The pocket size works well as a memo pad with its back cover slid into a planner pocket or wallet slot.

They have nicely textured, flexible cardstock covers. They're very durable. I've carried one for weeks, and apart from some blue dye transfer from my darker jeans and a slight gluteus curvature, it looks brand new.

The ivory paper is very smooth and pleasant to use. It stands up to a variety of inks. Broad or wet fountain pens had significant bleed-through, but fine fountain pens with dry inks worked well, and rollerball, gel, ballpoint, and pencils were all great. These notebooks pair naturally with a pocket pen like the Fisher Space Pen or the Midori Brass Bullet Ballpoint pen.

One downside to the notebooks is that the pages are not perforated. My pocket notebook is often my "have you got a piece of paper" go-to, for handing out contact info or book/recipe/website/pen recommendations to friends. I'm still going to tear pages out of these books--I'm just going to have to mangle the notebook a bit to do it. It should work okay for the top-bound book, but tearing a sheet from the staple-bound book could cause the other half of the leaf to loosen and fall out. Still, pocket notebooks were made to be mangled. I look forward to mangling a whole stack of these.

They do cost nearly twice as much as the Moleskine minis (which have perforated pages), which is a bit of a bummer. The paper and covers are definitely nicer on the Maruai, but I can't say they're twice as nice. They feel good in my hand, though, and they'll be the perfect thing to drop in my cart to bump it up over that free shipping threshold. I'm glad to see more mini notebooks out in the world, and these are lovely, useful things.

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

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Posted on April 13, 2017 and filed under Maruai, Notebook Reviews.