I’ve had a bit of an itch for a few weeks now, and in an attempt to soothe it I have purchased a new notebook. I am calling it The Blue Book. This name has a history for me. Many years ago, in a job which I remember with fondness, I had a catch-all notebook which I used to call my Blue Book. I think the first notebook I used was blue, but over time I had notebooks of different colours, but always referred to them as “my Blue Book”. People were sometimes bewildered. When this notebook arrived during the week I knew it had to be The Blue Book.

The notebook is from Clairefontaine’s 1951 series, a line which I’m familiar with, but in a format I haven’t bought before. I’ve had a number of the stapled exercise books over the years, both A5 and pocket size, so I was comfortable with ordering the thicker A5 cloth-bound book. This has a flexible cardstock cover and sewn binding with a cloth tape spine. The cross-hatch patterning is a nice touch and I do like the blank cream area to add a title, dates, or whatever. There is a choice of six cover colours: blue, black, green, purple, red (more orange in reality) and turquoise.

Inside there are 198 pages of Clairefontaine’s coated white 90gsm paper. This is a good everyday paper for fountain pens. There is a little showthrough and I suspect there might a bit of bleedthrough with pens that are heavy on the ink. However, my fine nibs give good results. The lines are 8mm apart, just the spacing that I like, and a nice subtle grey. So far, I’ve been using my Lamy Studio filled with Diamine Kensington Blue ink, but this page also features Waterman Tender Purple ink which I’ve got in my Cross Century II – a lovely combination that I’m using a lot in my journal.

I ordered my notebook from Cult Pens where it was well-priced at £6.75. I’m hopeful that these will prove to be a good replacement for the Rhodiarama soft-cover notebooks which I’ve favoured in the past. In fact, I’m banking on it: I ordered three to replenish my lamentably low stock of notebooks.

I padded out my order with a couple of Faber-Castell metallic highlighters which have a novelty value, but I resisted the temptation to do more than skim the fountain pen section. The knowledge of the Fountain Pen Show coming up in a few months is keeping me on the straight and narrow. It was a little tougher to place the order without adding any ink, but I managed it.

7 thoughts on “The Blue Book

    1. Hello, Danny. I took advantage of a stop-off at Starbucks prior to heading into the cinema to snap my book with a Caramel Macchiato. It was a bit of a mistake because I thought Macchiato was always an Espresso with a foamed milk top, but at Starbucks a Macchiato is a milkier verson, and you have to order an Espresso Macchiato to get a Macchiato! You live and learn. It was very nice, though.

    2. In this instance Starbucks was chosen because I had a bit of time to kill before heading into the cinema. Location rather than quality was the deciding factor, otherwise it wouldn’t have been Starbucks! But give it its due – it fueled me through the story of everybody’s favourite astronaut toy where I laughed, I cried, and I gasped in amazement when a humble pen saved the day!

    1. I went to see Lightyear – really enjoyed it as I’m a big Toy Story fan. Apparently I’m the only person in the world who hasn’t seen Top Gun: Maverick. Last weekend I saw Jurassic World: Dominion and enjoyed that, too.

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