Friday, April 19, 2013

Review: Spicebox Master Collection

Whoo, so I meant to write a review for this Spicebox Master Collection notebook a long time ago but I forgot. Since then I've long since finished this and another notebook before getting this blog post done. Whoops!

Ok, I bought notebook from my local Half Price Bookstore in which I had a coupon for either 40% or 50% off which made this notebook a steal. To be honest I wasn't completely in love with the cover of the notebook at first but I really wanted to try it because of the dip fountain pen design on the cover wrap. The cover actually did grow on me when I started using it. It has that beach-like feel with the cork-like background and the palm tree foreground. :)

Here it is in the plastic bag that it came with. It has a simple cover wrap explaining the details of the notebook on the back.

Here it is unpacked, it's has smooth and fairly thick flexible covers. Sort of feels plastic-ky but I don't have a problem with that. Seems it's also glued to heavy card stock which is fine with me. I don't think it would handle any serious abuse but luckily I only kept it at home so I didn't need to test that theory. I used it as a personal journal at home for daily writing. There were still some minor scuffing to the cover when I did accidentally scratch it with something so it does have some wear but none too serious.

Here's a few close ups of the cover.

Here's the back with the info:
  • Soft cover flexible notebook - It's true. It is a fairly flexible notebook.
  • 140 lined pages - They are a bit wide for my handwriting but good if you have large handwriting
  • 5.7 x 8.3 inches

Now on to the paper! It actually has decent paper! I think I forgot to take a photo of how thick the notebook is closed but it's probably about an inch to an inch and a half thick overall. I really like how thick the paper is and it's fairly fountain pen friendly. I don't have a way to measure it but it's not as thick as cardstock but it's noticeably thicker than regular paper. :D It's not up to Rhodia or Clairefontaine standards but it's not bad for the price, I think. It's not for juicy pens or ink but it took my EF, F, and 1.1mm well. The 1.1m and Ahab flex nib did feather a bit but the good part is that there usually wasn't too much bleed through and little to no show through which I loved!

The book lies more or less flat but it does have a little hump in the beginning and end of the book because it's such a thick book. I don't mind too much since I was just using it at home but it's definitely not an on-the-go book. The line spacing is a bit too large for me, I'd say it's .8mm so equivalent to a wide-ruled notebook. I have smaller handwriting so a college-ruled notebook works for me.

The paper color is an off white maybe ivory color, not as yellow as Moleskine paper. The image below better illustrates the color of the paper versus the ones above. I used my Lamy Safari with a F nib below and as you can see the paper is fairly absorbent. I forgot to take any pictures of the back but I do have an entry on the back. You can't really tell there's an entry on that back so that shows you how thick the paper is and how little show or bleed through.

Overall, I'm not an expert but I was really impressed with this notebook. For the price I was extremely pleased about the quality. I like the thicker paper so if you do too you'll enjoy what this notebook has to offer. If you don't like thick, substantial paper or notebook then you might not like this type of notebook. It's not a notebook you'd carry around but still nice to have sitting at home on your desk. Still there can be bleed through if your pen is left in a spot for a few seconds or your pen is particularly wet. Just to forewarn you all.

I'm not sure if anyone else has had experiences with this brand or type of notebook before. If you had, let me know! Feel free to point me to any similar notebook reviews. Hopefully you all have similar opinions about the paper. Recently I've bought another notebook from this brand and it's about the same as this notebook but a different cover design (more attractive) and slightly different dimensions (smaller and less pages) but appears to have the same quality of paper. That will come up hopefully soon.

1 comment:

  1. I might be a sucker - wait. No. I am a sucker. But I'd have bought this based on the pretty cover alone hehe but it's nice that it actually is a decent notebook! Thanks for the review - never heard of these notebooks before!