Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Midori 013 insert review

As you must all know by now, I ordered one of the GORGEOUS Stamford Notebook Co. Traveller's Journals last week. Naturally, my mind then considered potential refills, other than the Stamford Notebook Co. versions. Just to have options. You'll all understand.

So, I ordered the Midori 013 insert and two different kinds of Moleskine cahier - ruled and squared to do a compare and contrast with the notebooks that come with the Traveller's Journal - on paper quality, number of pages, fit within the leather cover and overall value for money.
[I write. A lot. I could get through a lot of notebooks in a very short time. These things are important to me!]

Anyway, the Traveller's Journal is still in transit so the Midori inserts have arrived before the TJ...

I went for the Midori 013 as I was curious about the paper. I've heard mixed things about it. For those not in the know, the 013 insert has 128 pages instead of the standard 64 page fill. However, I had heard that the show-through of ink to the reverse of the page was significant. To my mind, there would be no point in having twice as many pages in the booklet if you could only write on one side of them!

So here we go:

The notebooks were ordered from The Journal Shop (no affiliation, just a loyal customer) and arrived promptly. They came in a cellophane bag with the insert label on the front. The notebook inside is plain, front and back and is 11cm x 21cm. It has quite a strong smell but I genuinely cannot describe what it smells of! Glue? But the book is stapled.

Still in its wrapper
Plain cover

Inside, the very first and last sheet are of different paper. In the front it is stamped with a frame for you to label up what the notebook is about and the Midori logo at the bottom.

Front sheet

On the back page, there is a small stamp that says Traveler's notebook. For all the travelers who have a free spirit.

[a free spirit, but who are unable to spell travellers it seems]

The main paper itself is a slightly off-white colour and unlined and un-numbered.

main paper - unlined and not numbered

And now for the ink tests!!

For once, I don't have a zillion pens all inked up. Only 7 fountain pens are inked (which may well be 6-7 more than most people have but surely not people visiting a blog called Paper, Pens and Ink??).

The paper is beautiful to write on. Smooth and silky and drying times on most inks weren't excessive (though if you're left-handed you may find some issues). With a dark-background (my desk) the paper showed almost no show-through to the reverse but when I folded the paper back on itself, there was some.

Ink tests
Reverse with a dark background (my desk)
Reverse when the page is folded back
(so there is  a page behind it)

The show-through is there but it's actually not as bad as I feared. I think a fine nib rather than my italic versions and the right ink could be perfectly usable. The Platinum Plaisir is about the finest nib I have and the show-through isn't too bad. Not so bad I would feel like I couldn't use the reverse, anyway.

Once the Traveller's Journal arrives I'll post about how good a fit these are in it (they are the same height, but 1.5cm narrower than the Stamford notebooks).


  1. Hello,

    Thanks for the good visual review of the Midori 13 refill, which happens to be my favorite standard-sized MTN refill. Personally, I don't mind the show-through and, because the paper is delicate, prefer a European F or Japanese M nib.

    BTW, "traveler" is the American spelling; I am under the impression that the Japanese tend to use American English more often than British English -- but that may be because I'm an American and tend to encounter things intended for an American audience. (Strangely, while in college, I worked in a store named The Civilized Traveller, British spelling of Traveller, American spelling of Civilized, a constant irritation for the innate proofreader!)

    Looking forward to more on the gorgeous Stamford Notebook Co. Travellers Journal -- and all of your planner/paper adventures. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hello! Thanks for stopping by! I do like the 013 insert. And I did kind of know that Midori was using US spelling - but the US spell it wrong!
      Ooh - The Civilized Traveller - that would bug me SO much!
      There are more posts on the Stamford TJ on their way - hope you enjoy them.