Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Age Bag A5 books – how do I love thee?

Let me count the ways. I love you to the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach, that’s how much!

In fact, if I could only have one notebook type for the rest of my life, I would choose them. (NB the fact I said ‘only one notebook type’ not only one notebook!!).

Why do I love them so much? They are gorgeous to write in, they have oodles of pages and are pretty cheap. I just ordered five (Yes. Five. We had this discussion in the last post... move along) from Bureau Direct – as a pack of 5. Total price (if you’re not using a 10% off code at the start of each month) is £28.50, or £5.70 each. They have 96 sheets (192 sides) of 90gsm, white, lined, vellum paper which is an absolute joy to write on. They have a variety of coloured covers and are also available with grid paper or plain paper (though I have only bought them with lined).

The cover is a thick card, embossed with a pattern to make it look like leather. There is the Clairefontaine emblem, along with Clairefontaine on the front cover. The back cover is plain and the notebooks are cloth bound in matching cloth. On the back is a label which is easily removed.

Front cover
logo on front RHS
Back cover

As the notebooks are cloth bound rather than sewn, they don’t lie all that flat immediately, but can be persuaded pretty easily.

There is a white fly-leaf which is slightly glued to the first/last page of the notebook, but not so much that it causes any problems. There is no side-margin to the page and the lines go edge to edge. The top margin is 19mm, the bottom margin is 10.5mm and line-spacing is 8mm. There are 23 lines per page. The pages have rounded corners on the outer edge.


Pen tests:
Now this is how paper should respond to fountain pens. Smooth to write on, no feathering and no bleed-through. In a book that costs less than £6 (and if you sign up for their newsletters, Bureau Direct send you a 10% off code to be used in the first week of the month, which I did, so these were £5.13 each). No, there isn’t all the fancy ribbon-markers or pockets in the back, but, when I buy a notebook, what I want more than anything else is for the thing to cope with being written in, in fountain pen. I don’t especially care about the cover of the notebook (especially having bought leather slip-covers for them) or about a ribbon-marker or about pockets etc. I just want to write in them.
So this is what I’m looking for:

Ink splot is my fault! PERFECT pen test!
In its new home!
Snug as a bug in a rug!

Five stars out of five. I absolutely adore these notebooks, both in the A5 or A4 size.

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