I was getting to the end of my 300 page Miquelrius grid book so I went on the hunt for the perfect ink and pen testing notebook. This time, I wanted to have a blank book, rather than grid, with paper designed to stand up to fountain pen ink without feathering. I wanted bright white paper so I would not obscure the colors of the inks. I prefer an A5-ish size and if it could be green, well, then it would be perfect.
Both Goulet Pens and WritersBloc made it pretty easy for me to narrow to my key features and compare my options. Then I spotted the bright white Quo Vadis Habana and its was love at first sight. I have a lined, ivory Habana with the Anis green cover and its one of my favorite notebooks so it seemed like a clear winner. At $16.80, it was also a great price.
When compared to my ivory Habana, you can see in the sample above how different the De Atramentis Pigeon Blue ink looks from the bright white to the ivory paper. Using a book without lines also keeps from obscuring the color or overpowering really light colors.
In a larger writing sample, I chose to focus on fountain pens and liquidy inks that may feather or have longer drying times. I had no feathering issues but the Pelikan purple cartridge refused to dry in any reasonable amount of time and left a messy smudge on my samples (damn lefty!). All the other inks took a bit longer to dry than on more absorbent paper but overall the wait was not too bad. Since this is a book specifically for ink testing, I’m willing to wait when needed to get the inks to dry. The wider the nib, the more ink is laid down and the longer it took to dry. The Muji fountain pen with the medium nib took awhile to dry but it did dry, unlike the Pelikan purple.
When viewed from the reverse side of the paper, there is a tiny bit of show through but both sides of this paper could easily be used. The couple spots were actually from me (still more of the Pelikan purple stuck to my hand and not bleed through).
This is excellent quality paper and if you prefer a bright white stock over a warm white or ivory colored paper, this is an excellent option.
I’ll certainly go through the Habana a lot faster than the Miquelrius bloc but I think I’ll get a better experience with fountain pen inks and less distraction without any lines.
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Those Scout notebooks you recommended a while back would also be great for testing. I bought a set of three and have yet to experience any significant bleed-through on the gridded pages. They are very inexpensive ($10 for three little 3 x 5 books, or for two of the new 5 x7 variety). They’re not much to look at, but the paper is superb. Also, the company does not charge for shipping and offers superb customer service. But the Habana is definitely prettier.
Great idea, Randy! I want to try the new 5×7″ size. At this rate, I’m going to fill the Habana in record time so I’ll need to find the next perfect notebook. 🙂