Disclaimer: I received no compensation/incentive for writing about this, nor was i given any type of review copies.
Up until a few years ago, I was hung up on finding “the perfect notebook (sketchpad)”. There were a few that were outright belly flops, more effort being put into articulate descriptions which initially caught my attention rather than actual construction.
Others, like my now ever present Midori Passport had a good system but do not exactly have that eventual heirloom feel to them.
I did not seek to start a collection and although I eventually ended up with several drawers of my taborets full of pads, it was not done at a maniacal pace.
Often I am on the road. Several trips I packed more equipment than I would end up using. Not a happy flyer, I like to pack as light as possible so my shoulders do not hurt, adding to already uncomfortable situation.
When one finds the most efficient or best way to do something, after the fact it seems so obvious that there is the self asked question “Why wasn’t I doing it this way from the start?”.
There is no “perfect” notebook as different situations, what is ideal or required varies. The one constant prerequisite was that it be refillable. Other than that, sometimes I need one which fits in a jacket pocket while at other times something larger or an in between size for a few day jaunt carry on bag.
I now have a preferred one for every situation. When not on the road but merely woodshedding, i mix it up, trading off which I use.
Despite now having my methodology down, I do still occasionally buy more notebooks. There is no rhyme or reason to it. A matter of if something captures my eye.
Using the last nubbin of a pencil which had been a great collaborator, I went to the store only to find they did not have any. Ordering it online, i decided to poke around for the hell of it. A less vapid version of shopping therapy.
My shelves groaned under all my books, I could not add to their number. I kept looking. I came across Le Vent notebooks by complete happanstance. They had two styles one which held 7×5 spiral bound notepad and the other a 8×5 sketchpad.
Staggered by a week or two I ended up getting them both.
Aesthetically, they are very different. The 7×5 looked like a new take on the classic portfolios that Torquato Tasso or Casanova would have kept their papers in. Modernized with two brass snaps to hold it shut in lieu of cumbersome leather straps. The leather was of surprisingly good quality. With leather goods, be it a bag, shoes or notepads there are nice things which daily life leaves its marks on, creating an “Oh No” effect upon initially being noticed. Then there are the leather good which do not mar so much as tell the story of where you have been, taking on a nice patina. These pads fall into the later category.
Unique among this type of thing, it opens and lays flat on the table which makes the act of writing for any length of time much easier. It came with two pads of thick good paper. As long as you size it correctly, any pads will work although the included brand is far from cost prohibitive.
The 8×5 sketchpad looks like a book with a snap buttoned strap to keep it shut. The leather is a different one from the other pad but of equal quality. The paper it comes with is a flat spined, sewn binding. The paper is heavy and has a vellum like smoothness to it. Again, any pad sized correctly will work.
All the times that I have purchased new notebooks, I use the paper it comes with, the main incentive being merely because it’s there. Rarely is the paper something which I would use regardless, often seeming an afterthought on the part of the company. This is paper which I would continue to use. It handles a little differently the what I usually use but I like to mix things up.
Here are my initial forays with my new notebook: