Once you’ve written on really nice paper, it’s hard to go back. If you’ve never noticed the differences in paper qualities out there, let me explain. Cheap paper is thin, a little rough, flimsy. And a cheap notebook is not constructed very well, either through manufacturing that makes it less durable, or through design that makes it harder to use. Picture a bound notebook that you have to hold open while you write, vs. one that lays flat on its own. Which ones is easier to use?
I discovered the Mnemosyne notebook several years back. (Side note: it’s pronounced like nee-moss-innie and it’s named after the Greek goddess of memory.) I don’t remember what triggered it, but I got really into fountain pens. The inexpensive ones. I bought my first pen from GouletPens.com, a Pilot Metropolitan for under $20. And it wrote like a dream, gliding over the page so smoothly that my hand never cramped, that my letters flowed easily from one to the next, that cursive suddenly made sense. I loved it.
But the thing about fountain pens is that they beg for good, quality paper in order to dazzle. There are hundreds of different kinds of inks, in every color you can think of, and many of them only reveal their secrets on a nice, smooth, acid-free paper.
You Never Regret a Good Notebook
The Mnemosyne notebooks have all of that. I like the 194A model, which is lined in a soft, gray ink. It comes in a B5 size, about 7.5” x 9.85” (190mm x 250mm). So it’s a full-size page of paper that will fit easily inside folders, binders and notebooks. I love the design of it, too. Every page has space at the top to title your notes and a box for the day’s date.
The cover is made of a black resin, which keeps the pages protected and deflects moisture. Corners are rounded so the notebook doesn’t snag as you pull it out from a tote bag or backpack, and every page is perforated so it tears out cleanly.
They’re $12 each on Amazon (although I’ve seen them cheaper occasionally), and Mnemosyne has a wide range of models and sizes if the 194A isn’t for you. (Think unlined, dot grid and graph paper, memo and steno pads, pocket-size options, oversized options, etc.) Whenever I buy these, I grab multiples so there’s always a blank one waiting to get used.