Michael Roger is a line of notebook products best known for the Decomposition Composition notebooks. While in Chicago, I found this lovely kraft paper covered hardcover blank notebook called Dispatches. The airmail-trimmed belly band caught my eye and the simple look of the book really appealed to me.
Its a 5″x8″ (hello, A-5 size-ish!) notebook with a black linen book cloth along the spine and filled with 160 blank cream-colored pages. It even has a simple black ribbon bookmark. I was so excited to try this book out.
Then I put ink to paper and the wind went out of my sails. I tested a lot of different tools because the paper is a heavy weight and I thought this would be a good option for markers and stub-nibbed fountain pens. The paper seems to resist inks like the Moleskine sketchbooks do. Even a felt tip took ages to dry.
The picture says it all. My favorite Kawecos took over 20 seconds to dry completely. The 1.1mm Lamy nib never seemed to dry. Even the Pentel Hybrid Technica and a classic office supply closet staple, the Pilot Precise V5 took a lot longer to dry than on the average office paper.
Needless to say, I can’t recommend this across the board. If you prefer pencils or want something to do artwork, multimedia or collages, this might be a good option since the paper is pretty durable. But if you love writing with fountain pens, this is not the book for you.
The book is $12.95 and its also available in a lined version through the Bookbinders web site. I purchased mine at Pieritz in Oak Park, IL.