They say memory fades as you get older, which may be true… I forget. There are some memories in particular I don’t ever want to lose though. For example some of my best memories of my children when they were younger are of holidays in France. Holidays in the Loire Valley and the Vendée in particular bring back happy memories. One such set of mental images comes from our one trip to Nantes, to which I return as I write this, metaphorically at least, in this review as this from where the producers of the Calepino pocket notebook originate. Calepino sell a variety of great looking stationery items which are all well worth looking at. (You can check out the Calepino website here). Anyway “Allons-y” as they say.
Presentation: The Calepino No.4 notebook is nicely styled notebook in the classic 3.5″ x 5.5″ / 9 cm x 14 cm size. I chose the dotgrid option as that is my preference. There are other notebooks with a variety of ruling options. After purchasing them online they promptly arrived in a pack of three, nicely bound in a recycled cardboard carton. Calepino stress the sustainable and recycled nature of their products which is always a winner in my book. Initially I was impressed as the notebooks have a cool, understated look that I like very much. They remind me very much of what I would consider Scandinavian design. The cardboard notebooks cover is thick and nicely tactile. Inside the front you will find the expected space for name, address, etc. The back cover has a useful rule guide on the edge (I find myself using these a lot) as well as some information about the origin of the notebooks, it’s written in French, the first paragraph states
“The cardboard covered notebook was caked in sawdust, from being placed so regularly between the wood plane and the discarded chips. It would to and from between the tools and the my father’s workbench, which was in the basement. With his big red pencil, he would draw, trace and plan out his designs, then slide the pad in to the back pocket of his overall.”
There are the standard number of 48 pages. The cover and the dot grid are both printed in a subtle grey ink which makes the whole piece hang together from a design point of view. The notebook is physically held together with what look like sturdy enough staples so no worries there either.
On Test: The 90gsm paper makes a lot of difference with these notebooks. I went straight to work with a combination of fountain pen and pencil. The results were great. No more disappointments due to feathering or bleed through.
Summary: If, like me, you like using pocket memo books with your favourite fountain pens as well as pencils, you’ll be disappointed with many of the offerings out there. These Calepino notebooks are a great exception. I like these notebooks a lot. They are well designed, cool to look at and feel great too. More importantly they work really well. I got mine via the great guys at the online ‘Pocket Notebooks’ store in the UK (see them here). In the UK they sell at around the £9-£10 mark for the pack of three. Frankly if you are in the market for a cool pocket notebook that stands up to fountain pens then I think checking out these stylish and well produced Calepino notebooks is a must.