Galen Leather Tomoe River notebooks in Pocket and A5 size

My love of Tomoe River paper is well-known. I love it because it is thin and light (half the weight and thickness of regular paper), so less bulky and heavy to carry around. I also love the way it crinkles! It is now becoming easier to find – in both the lightweight and heavier weight which is lovely.

One of my favourite leather shops, Galen Leather, recently came out with Tomoe River notebooks, which they sell in packs of three. They come with a blotter and grid and lined guides. The price is good, but what I really loved the look of is the little zippered bag that comes with them.

Galen leather contacted me recently and asked if I would like to try their notebooks in pocket (90 x 140 mm/3,54 x 5,51 inches) and A5 (145 x 210 mm/5,70 x 8,26 inches) size. Of course I jumped at the chance because Galen has really high quality products – I already have two of their notebooks covers, and a wallet insert.  They arrived yesterday – it took 24 hours for them to arrive all the way from Turkey – and I was not disappointed.

The one thing I really love about these is the cotton canvas pouch they come in. This is something that no other seller, to my knowledge, offers with their notebooks. The pouch would be great for people who want to use the notebooks but not necessarily in a traveler’s notebook cover. The colour is lovely – rich and warm brown – and the cotton canvas is nice and thick with a zipper on top. The zipper tag is nice solid metal in gold tones. The brown pouch won’t show marks, the pouch will protect the notebooks, and it can also be used to hold other things. The Pocket sized pouch  fits pens and makeup perfectly (yes I tried last night!)

Each pouch holds three notebooks and a set of guides. The bag would also comfortably hold the three notebooks plus stencils, a few pens, stickers, and maybe an extra notebook. It is not quite big enough to be used as a pouch for a traveler’s notebook cover plus inserts unless you size up.

The notebooks have a really nice cover design, are stitched (which I far prefer to staples, which sometimes rust or snag my TN elastics), and have 128 pages. The front and back of the guide have different width lines (7mm and 10mm) and grids (5mm and 10mm), and there is a super leathery blotter, which is unlike anything I have felt before. As you can see below, the guides show really well through the paper.

The paper feels glorious – soft as butter and smooth as silk. I don’t use a fountain pen so I cannot testify to how it holds up to wet ink for example, but pencil glides over this and grips the paper perfectly. I am a leftie and we tend to press really hard but the paper did not tear or rip.


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Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

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