Sunday, 29 September 2013

Review of grandluxe notebooks (4): Monologue basics notebook in A4

[warning: long post with quite a few pictures. Click on any picture to enlarge]

If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that I was sent a pile of notebooks by Grandluxe to review. So far I have reviewed the Monologue Platinum notebooks (you can read the review here), the Monologue jotter (you can read my review here) and the Monologue ruled notebook (read the review here).
Today is the turn of the Monologue basics notebook. I was sent an A4 size version. They come in A4, A5 and A6 and with a black cover only.  I only have a recommended retail price for the A4 - £10.99.

First impressions
The notebook is hardbacked and the cover is A4 size (the page size is marginally smaller at 294 mm x 204mm. The cover is PU with a graining pattern (see photos below). There is a vertical black elastic closure and a black ribbon marker. There is no branding on the front cover. The back cover has, like the other notebooks in the range, got ‘monologue’ incised into the cover.

Front cover (with label)
Back cover (with label)
Label removed

Lining the cover is grey paper and the first page, though stuck to it, is not affected the way first pages usually are and appears almost completely free.

Grey fly-leaf and first page of table of contents

The first 6 pages are to list content on, with a header of ‘Content’ and then a table underneath with ‘Page No.’ and ‘Subject’. There are 41 rows per table to fill with lists of the content. With 6 pages, you can therefore list 246 things. The book has 80 leaves (160 pages) to it. With 6 taken for contents listing, there are 154 remaining.

There are 6 pages of table of contents in total
There are 154 pages of ruled paper with page numbers

These remaining pages are numbered in the bottom outer corner and have ‘Date:’ on the top line. Line spacing is narrower than the other books I have reviewed, at 6 mm and there are 45 lines after the Date line.

'Date' on the page, plus page number
Page number in close-up
The paper is described as 80 gsm acid free, woodfree paper and is cream/ivory in colour.
In the back cover there is an expandable pocket made of grey paper (which is ever so slightly NOT the same colour as the lining paper). The whole of the pocket is made of the paper; the gusset isn’t made of the ribbon-like material found in the other notebooks.

Pen Tests
To be honest, I was almost not going to do a pen test on this because the other Monologue books have done so badly with fountain pens. Since the pages are numbered, it wasn’t possible to take out a leaf to test (so as not to spoil the book) either. In the end, I decided that I had to test my collection of fountain pens on it, as I do that for every book I review, and tested them on the very last page of the book.
I must say, I was pleasantly surprised! The paper is fairly smooth, without that ‘ink just sitting on the surface’ aspect that very smooth paper gets and it wasn’t nearly as blotting-paper like as the other notebooks have been. That said, it’s no Clairefontaine and there was still feathering and bleed-through from almost everything I tested it with, to an extent that makes the reverse side unusable, but not as unusable as the other books in the range have been.

Fountain pen tests
Fountain pen tests: reverse
Reminder of the reverse of the lined notebook
fountain pen test

I like this book. I think I will use it at work. I would have preferred an A5 for work (but was only sent one of these books – the A4 – to review) and I would certainly have preferred a fountain-pen friendly paper. I like the table of contents at the start and the date and page number on the other pages. The narrow ruling suits me better too. It’s just a shame that even a fine roller-ball bleeds through to the reverse. The Bic biro is fine (and mostly what I use at work anyway).
Star rating: 3/5

Details of how to find Grandluxe products:

Monologue on Facebook:

Disclaimer: although I was given these books to review, this has been my honest opinion of the book reviewed. I have not been paid to review the books, nor am I in the employ of Grandluxe.

No comments:

Post a Comment