The folks at GrandLuxe sent me a whole heaping pile of their new Monologue journals. I received four A6 (5.5″x3.5″) sized books and three A5 (approx. 8.25″x5.5″).
Even from the edges, you can see there are slight variations in each book to suit lots of personal preferences. The red A6-sized has pages that are undersized to accommodate a golf-sized pencil tucked in under the edge for the cover with an elastic to hold it securely. The bottom two books have elastic loops to hold a writing tool. The orange book in the middle is a flip-top reporter-style sketchbook. The books and the top of the pile and the bottom are from the “platinum” line that include matching metallic edging on the pages.
The books fall into two paper categories, the standard weight writing paper (80 gsm acid-free) and the heavier sketchbook paper (140 gsm Italian high quality acid free). The black Monologue Basics sketchbook and the orange reporter-style Monologue sketh pad both feature the plain heavyweight sketchbook paper. The sketchbook paper is treated with a vegetable gel for long-lasting stability. All the other books have the lighter-weight, lined writing paper and additional paper treatment is labelled.
Both the A5 ($16.99) and A6 ($11.99) Platinum notebooks are hardcover books with metallic leatherette covers, metallic page edging, pen loop and ribbon bookmark with non-fraying end. The pages are lined with light grey lines on a warm white stock (80 gsm, acid-free). The end papers are black and include a gusseted pocket in the back for ephemera. The line spacing is 6mm in the smaller A6 book and 7mm in the larger A5 sized book.
In writing tests, the paper performed adequately. I’d say it was similar to Leuchtturm 1917 paper. Its not completely fountain-pen durable but completely adequate for most writing tools.
From the reverse, there is a a little show-through but not terrible.
The Monologue Basics A5 sketchbook ($12.99) features a flexible leatherette cover and heavier-weight (140 gsm), plain soft white paper. The pages are flush with the spine and have rounded corners. Every one of the 64 sheets (128 pages) is perforated along the spine to make removing sheets easy.
There are no added features to this book, it’s definitely more stripped down and utlitarian but the price reflects this as a “basic” book and the paper is very good for fountain pens, markers and maybe even light ink/watercolor washes.
The sticker on the cover is removable with a little elbow grease.
The paper feels toothier and more like an art paper. To be honest, the paper is thicker than most budget-priced sketchbooks found in the US. I quite liked using it.
As you can see from the reverse of the paper, there is no bleed- or show-through. If you can live without lines on your paper (and if you need them, certainly feel free to download my guides sheets which were visible through the sketchbook paper) than this is a good value notebook with fountain-pen friendly paper and a clean overall look.
Overall, the quality and price points on these books are really good. I like the simple designs and variety from simple black sketchbook to posh metallic journals. All books shown here are available for sale on the Monologue online shop.
Giveaway: I’d like to share some of these books with you, my fine readers, so I am offering three different notebooks prizes to three lucky winners. To be officially entered, please leave a comment below and tell me which giveaway prize you’d like to win and why. Entries will be sorted by preference so if you like giveaway prize #1, you’ll be entered with all the other entries who also want Giveaway #1 and so forth. Make sense? So here are the prizes: Giveaway winner #1 will receive the orange leatherette A6 with horizontal contrast elastic and the A5 moss green, lined, hard cover notebook with vertical matching elastic.
Giveaway Winner #2 will receive the A5 Platinum hardcover notebook with metallic gold leatherette cover, lined pages with gold edging and matching elastic and bookmark AND the Monologue Jotter A6 size with red suede-like cover and pencil. Giveaway Winner #3 will receive the orange Monologue Sketch Pad A6 size, reporter-style. This book features the 140 gsm unlined sketchbook paper.
FINE PRINT: All entries must be submitted by 10pm CST on Wednesday, October 15, 2014. All entries must be submitted at wellappointeddesk.com, not Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook, okay? Winner will be announced on Thursday. Winners will be selected by “fishbowl” from entries that played by the rules (see above). I will sort entries by prize request and put them in a fishbowl and draw out the winners. Please include your email address in the comment form so that I can contact you if you win. I will not save email addresses or sell them to anyone — pinky swear. If winner does not respond within 30 days, I will draw a new giveaway winner. US residents only please.
DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by GrandLuxe/Monoglogue for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.