I cannot even begin to explain how much I wanted this notebook. After my initial fountain pen discovering frenzy, I started exploring paper options. Many Google searches, blog posts and forum threads after, I decided that the Seven Seas ‘Writer’ from Nanami Paper was the one journal for me.
Here are some of the specifications! (If you want more, just visit Nanami Paper’s amazingly detailed fact sheet!)
- A5 size (210x149mm/8.3×5.8in)
- 480 pages of Tomoe River paper
- Rounded corner and 7mm lines (dotted to make it lighter)
- Thread binding (contributes to lay-flat design)
- “Flexible, tough, thin water-resistant coated fabric cover”
- Pink A5 ink blotter paper included
- Made in Japan
The highlight of this journal is definitely the Tomoe River paper. Also, the attention-to-detail is simply superb. On the outside, it is beautifully simple. There is no branding on the cover, just on the inside of the back cover. Even with the thin pages and the flexible cover, the notebook still feels sturdy. I thought it would feel too delicate but, somehow, the notebook feels substantial. Hefty, even. Granted, it does hold 480 pages. Still, as everyone should know, Tomoe River paper is super thin so what Nanami Paper has accomplished is pretty impressive.
Tomoe River paper is just wonderful. Rarely does something meet my expectations so well, especially when they’ve become so high. There is no bleedthrough unless you actively push the ink through (as can be seen on the Ink Testing page). Showthrough is pretty high, but all you need to do to fix that is stick a piece of black paper behind it and voila! Instant showthrough elimination. There is no feathering at all. Tomoe River paper is coated, meaning it is super ink resistant. Ink tends to feather if a paper is too textured and absorbant. Ink resistance keeps the ink on top of the paper and prevents feathering. Lastly, on top of everything, the paper is so soft. It is smooth yet still gives a little feedback. Exactly what I prefer.
Some tools I use with the ‘Writer’ are the included ink blotting sheet, the clear plastic case also from Nanami Paper, and… well, my Stark sticker is an essential part of the journal. Sicne I probably won’t be doing an individual review of the clear case, I have to note that it works well for my needs. I personally don’t need an intense leather cover. (And when I stay intense I mean expensive.) The journal will mainly sitting on my desk and the only protection it’ll need is from spilled drinks and possibly dirty hands. So, I believe the clear case will be just fine. And it is only $2.50!
The ink blotting paper works just as it should. I love that they included it with the notebook. This level of attention-to-detail is why I appreciate small business so much.
The only caveat, only downside, is the availability. I believe that for the majority of the time, the ‘Writer’ is out fo stock. It comes in stock maybe every 3-4 months and it only stays in stock for a couple of weeks max. Dave, the owner of Nanami Paper, is pretty good about posting the time when it comes back in stock (and answering my numerous emails about its availabilty). Here is his current estimate:
- The Seven Seas Writer is sold out! We expect to restock around mid-March 2016.
- The Seven Seas Standard is sold out! We expect to restock around mid-April 2016.
- The Seven Seas “grid” version is coming soon! We expect to have it in early February – perhaps sooner.
If you’re lucky, you might happen on the site in stock, but for the most part, you will probably have to wait like the rest of us.
Some people don’t have the patience for this or don’t feel they should wait for something that they want immediately. Obviously, you dod you. I waited forever because I felt it was worth it. So, if you see it in stock or are willing to wait, get it. Just do yourself a favor and get it. If not, there are Tomoe River alternatives, such as Paper for Fountain Pens’ Tomoe River journal or perhaps the Hobonichi Techo or Cousin. Either way, find something to write on because that’s the point of this crazy obsession with paper, right?