Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Verdict: Blueline A9 - NOT Fountain Pen Friendly

Mini-review: I just finished off a Clairfontaine notebook I'd been using as a journal (in pencil, for those keeping score at home), and started in on a Blueline A9 I've had around awhile. In case anyone was wondering, the Blueline A9 notebook is very far from fountain pen friendly. Much feathering and bleeding.

For the record, that's the *back* of a page...mucho bleed-through! Yikes...

Considering the 30% recycled paper, I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but it's still disappointing: there's so much to like about this notebook otherwise. It's basically composition book sized (my favorite) with a nice hard cover and details I like a lot: stickers for labeling for archival purposes, and spaces on the pages for the date and page number. But...bleh.

I'll stick it out, but can only use one side of the page unless I use pencil or ballpoint.

Thus far the best bet for an inexpensive, fountain pen friendly journal still seems to be my el cheapo Made in Brazil Wal-Mart composition books...those work with almost anything. And they're about a quarter apiece at back to school time. I wish I'd bought a lot more back in the good old days when they didn't have floppy covers, but I guess you can't have everything.


teeritz said...

Why is it that some of the nicest looking diaries, journals and notebooks have such fountain pen-hating paper in them? I'm all for recycling (I'll probably never hug a tree, but I really hate wasting paper). One of the best papers I've written on was made from bamboo. It was a shopping bag that I ripped into A4-sized sheets and used until it ran out.
Oh well, the search continues...

Bill M said...

I find the same thing with those before school starts supply sales twenty to twenty-five cent notebooks from WallyWorld and some of the office supplie stores.

I also found some less than $5.00 ones in the back of our local Book-A-Million book store on the discount shelf that are nice.

One is especially nice when I use my Pilot and Namiki blue ink -- No bleed-through at all.

Bill M said...

I just realized on my comment I did not state the kinds of notebooks. The twenty some cents ones are those black and white covered Composition Notebook kind. Many are now from Brazil. The others from B-A-M are a nice bound kind that are a Chinese imitation of the Chinese Moleskine, but the cheap ones have better paper!

Anonymous said...

I have to agree about those cheapo Brazil-made composition books and fountain pens. They work, especially since I prefer fine or extra-fine nibs that don't leave an overly wet line. My favorites are the Clairefontaine. They offer a wonderful combination of paper and fountain pen ink. But since Clairefontaines are umpty-ump times more expensive, the composition notebooks get more use, even with those crummy flexible covers.

When a notebook is not fountain pen friendly, I've started using Pentel Graphgear 500 mechanical pencils. They are very comfortable to write with. If I wasn't so cheap, I would get some BlackWing 602s. Maybe for Christmas.

Hope you had a pleasant Thanksgiving, emphasis on the pie!

Jeff The Bear

Little Flower Petals said...

Yeah, I love Rhodia and Clairefontaine, but it's a lot easier to scribble all over a notebook that cost me a coupla quarters... In addition to the cheap Made in Brazil notebooks at Wal-mart, I like the sugar cane paper notebooks Staples carries...I think these days they call them "Sustainable Earth." They have brown cardboard covers that have an annoying tendency to curl, but the paper is wonderful for fountain pens. Not so good for pencils, though.

Hooray for cheap!

Thanksgiving was good, and there was pie, but NO ONE brought a pecan or apple pie. Heresy! I feel...incomplete somehow.