About me · Correspondence · Pen and Paper · The Friday Flex

‘The Friday Flex’ Issue #13: Pen Pals and Overhang… what?

‘The Friday Flex’ is a weekly newsletter consisting of personal stationery and lifestyle news pieces. It primarily focuses my experiences with pen and paper krafts.

Table of Contents

  1. Instagram Highlights
  2. League of Extraordinary Penpals: Welcome Letters
  3. Overhang: Love or hate?

I. Instagram Highlights

A whole lot of orange…!!!!! @penaddict @imyke @nockco #notebookaddict #stationerylover #omg

A post shared by Joanna Mei (@joannamei11) on

II. League of Extraordinary Penpals: Welcome Letters

My Precious Krafts 2016-05-05 001.jpgIn my attempt to find pen pals, I joined the League of Extraordinary Penpals. I briefly mentioned this in two other posts, but to sum it up, the League of Extraordinary Penpals is an online community of letter writers and they are awesome. These past two weeks, I have been flooded with welcome letters and postcards and I cannot begin to explain how much I appreciate it. When I first got into the group, I was a bit overwhelmed by how full the community is. So, the fact they reached out to me makes it much easier for me to engage. I am excited to reply to my new pen pals and if you want to open up that pen-palling floodgate, I recommend joining L.E.P.

III. Overhang: Love or hate?

As a person who is more than a little obsessed with notebooks, I am constantly analyzing my collection to identify what my preferences are. My latest obsession with sketchbooks fueled further analyzation. Right now, I am still debating between the Stillman & Birn and the Hand Book Travelogue Artist Journals and, while it ultimately comes down to the paper and their properties, I keep wondering which form is my preference. One thing that kept coming up was overhang.

My Precious Krafts 2016-05-05 004
The top 2 have noticeable overhang. The rest do not.
My Precious Krafts 2016-05-05 002
Notebooks without any overhang.

The overhang of a notebook is basically the part of the notebook cover that goes past the internal pages. Usually softcover notebooks have little to no overhang because the cover would get creased and run down by constantly folding over the pages. Hardcovers have varying degrees of overhang depending on how much they want to protect the sides of the pages. Going back to my final two sketchbook choices, the Stillman & Birn seems to have about 2mm of overhang, whereas the Hand Book has none.

So, where does my preference lie? Well, I personally prefer minimal to no overhang. I think that overhang can sometimes be annoying if it’s too excessive or it can make the notebook feel too formal. The only notebooks in my rotation that have overhang are my Shinola Runwell Planner and my Levenger 5-year Journal. With the Shinola, I don’t plan on re-purchasing it once the year is over. With the Levenger, I don’t mind it being more formal because it is an important long-term use record.

My Precious Krafts 2016-05-05 003

If I were to choose between the Stillman & Birn and the Hand Book based purely on form, I would choose the Hand Book because of the lack of overhang. Because of the overhang, the Stillman & Birn feels slightly too formal and I’m afraid it will give me the “it’s-too-nice-to-write-in” syndrome. I may still choose the Stillman & Birn journals if their paper is more my cup of tea, but I wish they didn’t have overhang. Am I weird for obsessing over this tiny detail? Possible. But if you so stumble onto this post, tell me what is your preference?

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