I am using my Hobonichi at the moment, and absolutely loving the Tomoe River paper. I had forgotten how much I like it. It is so thin and light but high quality. I went through a stage a few years ago when it was all I used but it was hard to get hold of and I moved over to Smythson instead.
I received a little tax rebate earlier in the week and (on the recommendation from a lovely reader) explored Seven Seas Writer Notebooks and Gfeller Covers. I gave it a day or so to think about it and then decided to go for it. The rest of the rebate is going to be sensibly spent so this is my splurge!
This book has double the number of pages of ordinary notebooks but is no heavier due to the thinness of the paper. It also lies perfectly flat.
The leather is available in two versions – Skirting leather which is thick and sturdy, and Kip leather which is softer and more flexible.
When you choose, you are able to choose the actual cover you will receive – you have a choice of a maximum of three and you are only allowed to buy two at a time. This is probably because these covers are handmade and take a while to produce so they would like to always have one displayed for sale. If you don’t want to choose, they will send you a random one.
Here are some extracts from the website:
- Size A5, 210x148mm, 8.3×5.8 inches
- 480 pages (240 leaves) with rounded corners and 7mm lines
- Lay-flat thread binding
- Flexible, tough, thin water-resistant coated-paper cover
- Ivory-colored end sheets
- Two bookmarks
- Comes with one A5 blotter paper
- Made in Japan
Thanks to its cult-like following, Tomoe River paper needs almost no introduction. It comes from Japan and is thin and strong and resists bleeding and feathering from even the wettest fountain pen inks.
And wow, what great covers they are. One is skirting leather, which is used for belts, bomb-proof bags, tool holders, anything that requires the ultimate in toughness. The other one is kip leather, which is used in baseball gloves and other applications requiring softness and pliability. Both will get considerably darker with age and exposure to light and develop that leather patina we all love.
And here are some photographs from the Nanami Paper Website. The darker leather is the Skirting leather (which I bought) and the paler leather is Kip leather. I chose Skirting leather.