Wednesday, February 23, 2011

New Journal

(Andrea Joseph, via we heart it)

If you have been reading this blog for any amount of time, you'll have realized by now that I love, love, love the large, ruled moleskine journals.  I have been using them for the past five or more years exclusively, however, I've recently become aware of a few things that have made me think twice about being so exclusive.  Firstly, I read an article in this month's Chatelaine magazine that says that people who are attached to certain brands tend to get really anxious if they can't find the product they always use.  Heaven forbid they quit selling that product entirely!  Also, Moleskines are now mass produced in China and although I have not seen a problem with quality, some other bloggers (sorry, can't remember the link) have had issues with the bindings and covers.  Moleskine will still replace any defective product but if they are being mass produced, there is a larger margin for error and why hasn't the inevitable savings in production flowed down to the consumer?
So, because of this revelation of mine, I decided it was time to try out a different journal.  I ordered three different types from a company called Stylus Pens in Edmonton, AB because it was in Canadian dollars and I had my journals in my hot little hands within 3 business days (I'm very impatient!).  I ordered a Clairefontaine Age Bag journal, a Quo Vadis Habana and a Semikolon Features Notebook.  When I received them, the first thing I noticed was that the Quo Vadis Habana was too small.  It was more like a pocket sized moleskine, also the pocket in the back of the book was pretty shoddily attached and the elastic closure looked as though it could rip through the cover; a tiny tear had already started.  I realize I could order another size up but the quality isn't as good as I had expected so I am wary to order another one.  The Semikolon is a nice book, again a little smaller than what I'm used too but the thing that will deter me from using it is the widely spaced lines.  I like college or feint ruled.  The narrower, the better.  So that brings me to the Clairefontaine Age Bag Journal.  It is slightly larger than my large moleskine, there is no elastic closure and the paper is bright white.  All things that I can deal with.  The paper is nice and smooth and the lines are narrow.  Also, they are made in France, not mass produced, hopefully.  So my choice has been made.  I will update you on how it wears and how I feel about it after using it for awhile.  I realize that my opinions on the other two journals are made with rather limited experience and high expectations, so next time, I might wait until I'm in an actual stationary shop and only buy the journals that I can see myself using and then see how they pan out.  It's often hard for me to get to a good quality stationery store because I live in the boonies!  I'm sure I would have given the both of the other journals a try if I had ordered a size larger and actually inquired as to the line width.  I think I was thinking in inches and they were in centimeteres.  Oh well.  So please don't take my word solely on my sparse dealings with them.
I also picked the Clairefontaine because I can customize it a bit - paint the cover, add a pocket etc. and make it mine. I will show pictures when I am done.
What kind of journals do you write in?  Are you exclusive to one brand or type?


Elaine said...

this was really interesting to read! I'm a VERY FAITHFUL Moleskine user and it was cool to hear from another Moleskine-lover about other journals out there. Because of my obsessive compulsive disorder, it's very hard for me to venture out and try new products that go against my normal ones, but this was good to know. Good luck living in a new journal for awhile! Keep me updated!

Jane Cullen said...

Thanks Elaine! I too have OCD if you couldn't tell from my specific notebook requirements! This will be interesting to say the least. We'll see how long it lasts. I'll definitely keep you posted!