Midori MD Notebooks
I took these pictures for the blog on my kitchen floor earlier this morning while a load of laundry was churning away, and while watching the baby chew on books, Super's ear and a cardboard box of things I'm supposed to have unpacked, so I've been making the most of my multi-tasking these days. At this very moment, I'm in the shop while it's nice and empty - I think it looks like rain today - and Jon has taken the baby out to pick up some groceries for dinner. The only fly in the ointment is that I just noticed some mango on my shoulder from the baby's lunch, so I guess I'm kind of hoping no one comes in... We got our shipment of Midori a few days ago, which included the very cute D-Clips that I shared a few pictures of on the blog yesterday. We also finally brought in the line of Midori MD Notebooks. Midori is better known for their Leather Traveler's Notebooks, and in fact, there's quite a following because the system is so simple and yet so easily adaptable to whatever you need. However, Midori also makes a more standard style notebook!
For the record, I'm not exactly sure why we waited so long. Along the way we've had a few customers inquire about them, and while we've certainly looked into them, the long wait time to order them in from Japan was a bit of a deterrent. Recently, though, our distributor suggested we give them a closer look. He said something like, "you won't regret it, these are beautiful notebooks," and when our Japanese distributor, a man of few words, makes such a statement...how can I resist. (Although, if you couldn't tell, I'm not exactly the hardest mark when you're trying to sell me a Japanese notebook.) I think another part of the hesitation to bringing them in might have been that it seemed like we already had notebooks for different purposes - journaling, spiral bound, perforated, pocket... - but these Midori MD Notebooks have a place of their own: they're beautiful, simple, white notebooks with high quality paper and incredible attention to detail. They are perfect for slipping in your bag or case. We now have the MD Notebooks in A6, A5 and A4. For reference, A6 is a bit bigger than a typical pocket notebook, A5 is the "standard" size notebook that you might slip in your bag, and A4 is just bigger than an 8.5x11 piece of paper. We also have the Midori Cotton Paper Notebooks in A6 and A5.
Everything about these notebooks shows incredible attention to detail. You can tell right away how much thought an effort has gone into creating and presenting this notebook. In addition to a paper flap that identifies the paper and the ruling inside, the notebook comes wrapped in a sort of wax paper or vellum, to keep the cover in good shape. You can also keep it on to keep the white cover from getting too scuffed up, although the vellum is pretty delicate and so probably wouldn't last very long jostled around in a bag.
After the packaging, the only branding on the outside of this notebook is this quiet and classy debossed logo on the front. The cover is a smooth thick ivory cardstock.
The first page inside the notebook has an area for you to put your name, date, title, topic of notebook, or whatever you like. The notebook also comes with some labels, which I think you might use when you're done with the notebook to indicate the volume and date. Imagine how beautiful these would be, a whole row of worn and wrinkled notebooks filled with your memories and ideas and drawings.
The notebooks are stitched and bound, meaning they lie open flat easily no matter where you are in the notebook. It also has a ribbon book marker, different coloured for different notebooks.
But of course, all the details of a notebook are moot until you see how the paper quality is. This paper is great. It's good for all sorts of fountain pens, even super inky fountain pens. The following is an assortment of a few pens I already have inked up - Diamine Ochre in a TWSBI 580, Raven Black in a Lamy Medium, Salix in a Lamy Fine, Kiowa Pecan in a 2.3 mm Stub from Kaweco, Sailor Ultramarine (discontinued) in a Kaweco Broad. These are just fine, but that's pretty usual for most notebooks for fountain pens. No feathering or bleeding, although there is some show through. The other side is still usable, but if you look at the right angle, you will definitely be able to see the writing on the other side.
However, the real test is something as wet and enthusiastic and assertive as my Ahab. The thing about the Ahab is not only is it quite wet to prevent railroading during flexing, it's also a bit of a stiff flexer, and so when the tines spread apart, they have a tendency to almost scrape into the paper. With some papers, this can dig into the paper fibres, which then makes it much more prone to feathering.
Not only is there no feathering or bleedthrough, you can even see a hint of sheen! This is Iroshizuku Shin Kai in my Noodler's Ahab. Normally you don't get too much sheen from Shin Kai, but my Ahab is pretty wet.
We've got these Midori MD notebooks both in shop and online. We have the A6, A5 and A4 in blank, as well as the A6 and A5 in ruled. We are also carrying the Midori Cotton Notebooks, in A6 and A5, blank. I hope you enjoy taking a look! I just may have switched over to these notebooks for my regular journaling, and I will let you know how it goes.
A small note: the quotation there is from a recipe in a bread book called "Local Breads" by Daniel Leader. For the longest time I've been interested in baking my own bread, not from a bread machine, although maybe I should start there, but oven bread with crusty crusts and soft chewy insides. There's nothing like a really delicious slice of bread with butter. I've had this book for a while, and the author tells stories of his travels and learning from bread artisans around Europe, which makes me both lament my complete lack of knowledge and also feel kind of inspired. Maybe now with the shop so close and the baby getting a bit older - or at the very least, able to entertain himself for a few minutes at a time - I will be trying my hand at baking some bread!