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Thread: Best Hardcover Notebooks for Book Copying?

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    Default Best Hardcover Notebooks for Book Copying?

    I'd like to copy my favorite novel* into a series of hardcover notebooks in order to practice my FP handwriting. I've read a few reviews on what type of paper performs best with fountain pens, but I thought I'd throw the question out to you guys, regarding hardcover notebooks in particular.

    What notebook would you recommend? Ideally I'd like something that can lay flat for extended writing, is larger than A5, and, obviously, can deal with fountain pens without too much feathering, ghosting, etc.

    Thanks in advance!

    *James Joyce's Ulysses (yes, it will take me a very long time)

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    Senior Member Yazeh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Hardcover Notebooks for Book Copying?

    That seems a fun project

    What ink and what type pen are you going to use?

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    Default Re: Best Hardcover Notebooks for Book Copying?

    And where are you? Availability and price can vary hugely by country/continent.

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    Default Re: Best Hardcover Notebooks for Book Copying?

    Quote Originally Posted by mizgeorge View Post
    And where are you? Availability and price can vary hugely by country/continent.
    Good point!

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    Default Re: Best Hardcover Notebooks for Book Copying?

    Clairefontaine A4 Hardcover Notebooks (90gsm) would definitely be an option and are widely available in many countries.

    This paper is my favorite writing paper, high quality, smooth and most inks perform well on it.
    You can definitely write on both sides, no bleed through, most of the times (depending also on the ink) very little show through.

    https://www.clairefontaine.com/produ...6sh-plain.html

    https://www.amazon.de/Clairefontaine...rdcover&sr=8-7


    Sometimes people recommend Leuchtturm Notebooks, I tried one ones, it was just unusable for FP usage even it was advertised for FP usage.
    Last edited by Pterodactylus; December 21st, 2020 at 03:06 PM.

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    Default Re: Best Hardcover Notebooks for Book Copying?

    Thanks for the feedback and questions!

    I'm located outside of Chicago, IL, USA. I'm actually planning on using a variety of inks over time--maybe changing with each new page--to give me an excuse to explore different inks. So far I've used Waterman, Diamine, and Monteverde, but I don't have a set plan at this point.

    As for pens, I have an Pelikan M800, Pilot Custom 742 FA, Esterbrook Estie, and a TWSBI Vac 700r, most with Medium or Fine nibs.

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    Senior Member mizgeorge's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Hardcover Notebooks for Book Copying?

    I'd completely agree on the Clairefontaine (my favourite too), and would also consider their Rhodia version (same company, different brand).

    However, I'll defer to my friends on the other side of pond as I'm sure there may be better domestic options, or even a Japanese choice that's less expensive than it is here.

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    Senior Member Yazeh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Hardcover Notebooks for Book Copying?

    My paper choice is a mixture of texture and ability to deal with bulletproof inks/ wide or flex nibs.

    I would recommend you getting smaller notebooks of different papers and write in them.
    My first choice is Midori, 2nd Tomoe River 68gr.
    Unlike Ptero and mizgeorge, I'm not a fan of Rhodia or Clairfontaine, their too smooth for my taste.
    There is Midori Cotton, which is rather thin but has unusual sizes. I don't like it. It's marketed for sketching.
    Stalogy is thin, almost as Tomoe River 52 gr.

    However, Midori, Stalogy and Taroko Enigma open up flat.

    The cheapest in all these are Clariefontaine and Rhodia, I believe.
    Or even cheaper fabriano.Though I only recommend the A4, stapled one.
    The A5 ones falls apart. Truly awful....

    Hope it helps and good luck with your journey

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    Senior Member grainweevil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Hardcover Notebooks for Book Copying?

    Getting Japanese paper in hardback format tends to be the sticking point, I've found. But the US market may well be better provided in that regard. I've had some good fortune with supermarket notebooks in the past, but that's an absolute lottery. Rhodia and Clairefontaine are the no-brainer, no-worries option, but if you don't like the papers in either, like Yazeh, that could be positively painful. Black 'n' Red would be one to try from a UK perspective, but personally I dislike their paper!

    In short, even with recommendations it may have to boil down to simply trying some until you find one you like. And then buy lots of them quickly before the manufacturer changes the spec.
    In the words of Paul Simon, you can call me Al.

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    Default Re: Best Hardcover Notebooks for Book Copying?

    Softcover but very good Japanese notebook in a range of sizes: Life Noble Note.
    Hardback with excellent paper: Paperblanks.
    I'd recommend B5 size rather than A4 for your project. I use B5 as my work notebook size and it's perfect for extended writing. (I also use A5 in preference for personal journaling.)

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    Default Re: Best Hardcover Notebooks for Book Copying?

    Thanks so much for all these helpful suggestions.

    I really wish Midori or the other Japanese papers came in a larger hardcover format--everything is A5!

    I think expanding my focus beyond A4 is a good idea, as is sampling a few different notebooks before committing. To that end, I've ordered a Paperblank, Black n' Red, and a Dingbat (I've read good things). If none of these suit me, I'll continue the search!

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    Default Re: Best Hardcover Notebooks for Book Copying?

    You can try a Midori B5...it's between A5 and A4

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    Default Re: Best Hardcover Notebooks for Book Copying?

    Several thoughts come to mind regarding your delightful project...

    First off, give some thought to ink drying time. Some inks take quite a while to dry on different paper types. If you are planning to write/copy one page per day and can leave the book open it probably will not be any problem. Also, although I like your idea of a different color for each page, it would be interesting, a different color per chapter might make it more pleasurable to read if you have any intention to do that in the future.

    Secondly, Staples (and probably other stores) offers archival bound journals of 150 and 300 pages. These are very nicely bound and obviously will/should last indefinitely. I used them years ago for my own journaling and found a certain enjoyment as I used the same style book over a number of years. You can either get one at the store or order on-line. My experience with fountain pens and different inks was excellent. You can test it out first and check out the current production. They should also be easily available for an extended period of time.

    Finally, you might want to enroll us here on FPGeeks in your project by asking for a 1/2/3 page sample of different papers and then do your own testing of paper and ink combinations. If you shared your experience here, on-line, it would be a both interesting and beneficial to many people, I will wager. The cost to the people would be an envelope, a stamp and several sheets of paper. You would want to create a list and communicate with people in order to prevent being inundated (I am an optimist) with a bunch of duplicate samples.

    Sounds like a great project. A while ago I met a man who copied and bound the book, The Prophet by Khalil Gibran as a very special gift for his girl friend (eventually his wife).

    Enjoy your project and please share with us the process as you proceed.

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    Default Re: Best Hardcover Notebooks for Book Copying?

    How about one of these?

    https://www.scriptum.co.uk/collectio...al-hand-tooled

    Not cheap, but very beautiful. A meduim sized one should be big enough.

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    Default Re: Best Hardcover Notebooks for Book Copying?

    This is no doubt from the “I shall now purchase 100 Rhodia pads at $8 per” department. You may perhaps want to wait for a sale of merchandise before commencing said endeavor. Yet it is a delightful undertaking and prompts the question of whether you shall dedicate a single notebook for Palmer cursive, Italic cursive, Uncial and Spencerian. Perhaps some English roundhand? Alternating between such at your discretion seems advisable.

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    Default Re: Best Hardcover Notebooks for Book Copying?

    Frankly, your phrase "not cheap" is not really appropriate. It seems to me for such a diary is too high a price.

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    Default Re: Best Hardcover Notebooks for Book Copying?

    So how's the project going?

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    Default Re: Best Hardcover Notebooks for Book Copying?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sandy View Post
    So how's the project going?
    Thanks for asking! It's going really well, actually. I'm close to having one Black n' Red completely filled. I can't share pictures right now because all of my worldly possessions are packed up for a move tomorrow. =)

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    Default Re: Best Hardcover Notebooks for Book Copying?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dedalus4 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Sandy View Post
    So how's the project going?
    Thanks for asking! It's going really well, actually. I'm close to having one Black n' Red completely filled. I can't share pictures right now because all of my worldly possessions are packed up for a move tomorrow. =)
    We'll be waiting!!!

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    Default Re: Best Hardcover Notebooks for Book Copying?

    I've been using notebooks from Marshalls/TJ Maxx for a number of years now. Eccolo makes nice hard bound journals, and a book size ring bound journal. I'm not a paper "expert" but I always use a fountain pen, and am aware of the nib/paper relationship, and find the paper to be quite good and nice to write on. It never feathers, and bleeds through a little with especially wet pens. They also sell spiral bound notebook size journals/notebooks made by Fringe. I think that the paper is a bit smoother than Eccolo, but again very fountain pen friendly. Both tend to run in the $7-$8 range, and the Eccolo in particular has some very nice covers.

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