We pocket notebook lovers are so spoiled for choice these days that it takes something extra special to turn our heads. Well, these Yamamoto Ro-Biki Notebooks have my head spinning in circles. With these tall, narrow pages--perfect for lists--you can make a nice long list of all the cool things about them.
To begin with aesthetics, these are just gorgeous notebooks. The cover design is elegant in a way that is both fun and professional looking so the notebook can travel between work and play with ease. The colors are rich neutrals. This star map version with the navy background and parchment-colored constellations and script looks like it might have time travelled from a hundred years ago, or been found in a stationery lover's time capsule.
The cover is light cardstock that has been treated with wax. The texture feels a bit grabby at first, but it soon burnishes into a beautiful gloss that looks almost like vintage leather.
The binding is sewn with a lot of sturdy stitches. Inside the cover is a white endpaper, and then 60 pages of cream colored recycled paper. Like most recycled papers, it's not entirely impervious to liquid ink, but it performed very well. My broad fountain pen and flex nib caused some bleed-through, but all the other pens I tested barely showed through at all--not even my firehose of a TWSBI. The front of the page shows no feathering, even with the wetter nibs and inks. Unless you're really laying the ink down, these would work fine with fountain pens.
Branding on the notebook is very minimal--only the subtlest brand is printed on the back bottom in black ink on the blue background.
The dimensions are 3.6" x 8.3", so they're not quite the right dimensions for the regular sized Traveler's Notebook covers, but I think they would still work with it. The height is the same--these are just a bit narrower. I don't think the paper performs quite as well as the Midori paper of the Traveler's Company notebooks, and they are, at $9.00, about $1.75 more expensive. They have more sheets of paper, though. And the irresistibly stunning covers.
I like what I've seen from Yamamoto notebooks so far, and I'm looking forward to what they do next.
(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)
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