I have been a computer geek most of my adult life. There are few things in my professional life that a computer couldn’t make better, easier and faster. However, during the holidays late last year, my wife and I stumbled upon a small ink and paper shop in Asheville, NC. On a lark, we each decided to purchase an entry level fountain pen. I immediately fell in love with the concept of writing with this pen. After decades of typing everything, the nostalgia of writing things down with a fountain pen, of taking time to compose my thoughts, became almost an obsession for me. I began handwriting meeting notes again, then I started journaling. All because of this darned, inexpensive fountain pen!
However, as I began journaling, I discovered that finding a good paper journal is not as easy as I would have thought. There are a lot of journals out there, but not a lot of good ones. The one I have settled on is an excellent option for anyone looking for a quality journal: the Leuctturm1917 notebook/journal.
A pen is only as good as the paper it is writing on, and paper quality is what sets the Leuchtturm1917 notebook apart from its competitors. Even using a medium nib on a fountain pen, the 80 g/m2 weighted paper handles ink without any bleeding through the page.
Leuchtturm has notebook paper that is plain, dotted or ruled, depending on your needs. If dotted or ruled, the darkness of the dots or lined are not too dark or obstructive to the writer. For the ruled paper, I initially thought the rule lines were too narrow, but I have found over time that they are fine.
On many notebooks, there are a number of perforated pages at the end of the journal so they can be removed cleanly if needed. This is very handy if you need a scrap of paper but don’t wish to maim your notebook.
There are soft and hard covers available, depending on your journaling needs. I tend to prefer a hard cover, and this journal has solid covers in a variety of colors. Even the most eclectic of people can find a color to suit their taste and needed.
In addition, while the cover binding appears to be very strong and durable, when the journal is opened the pages lay flat for ease of writing.
Journal options include two ribbons attached to the notebook to bookmark pages. Many journals also have an elastic enclosure band attached to the back cover to fold over to keep the journal closed. Many models have pockets in the interior back cover to hold business cards and miscellaneous pieces of paper. The pages in the journal are numbered, and there is a table of contents/index page in the front of the notebook for helping the writer keep the journal organized, and adhesive stickers for the binding or front of the book for labeling and archiving.
What I Don’t Like
While overall I am happy with this A5 sized notebook, there are a few things that I don’t particularly like. The pages all have boxes for writing in the date on the page. As I tend to write several pages a day, these date boxes are wasted space for me. I would prefer they leave that out. And while not a big issue, I don’t care that the pages are numbered. For me, I like to number the pages by date, so having the page numbers preprinted has little value to me.
Lastly, I like to keep my pen with my notebook, and the Leuchtturm1917 notebook doesn’t have a pen loop to keep your writing tool with your journal. Leuchtturm does over an optional pen loop that your can attach to your book. That is a nice addition, but it is an added expense when I think it should be a standard part of the design.
However, these issues are small and quite frankly a little nit-picky.
Leuchtturm has been in business for over 100 years and has a notebook at the size and type for just about any writer. At the core of the notebook, they use high quality paper and excellent workmanship in the cover binding. Most of their notebooks have nice little “extras” to help the most discerning writer, and in a myriad of colors to suit everyone’s taste.