Review: Monologue Journals and Sketchbooks

Monologue journals

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″).

Monologue journals

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.

Monologue journals

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.

gold monologue journal

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.

Monologue notebook writing sample

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.

Monologue notebook writing ample reverse side

From the reverse, there is a a little show-through but not terrible.

monologue basic sketchbook

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.

Monologue A5 Sketchbook writing sample

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.

Monologue Sketchbook A5 reverse side of writing sample

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.

monologue giveaway notebooks

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.

green monologue journal

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.

monologue sketchpad

FINE PRINT: All entries must be submitted by 10pm CST on Wednesday, October 15, 2014. All entries must be submitted at, 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.

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84 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I would love to be entered for Giveaway #2. Love the gold notebook. What a special place to write down precious ideas. 🙂

  2. I would love to be entered into the contest for Giveaway numer 1. In one book I would record memories of 38 years working in public libraries; in the other – a journal of memories for my grandson

  3. I love reading your blog! Giveaway Number 3, please. The sketchbook looks so clean and able to withstand five-mile walks in my purse.

  4. I would love win the first one! I enjoy writing a lot, the secondary colors, and the selection of notebooks in my town is limited.

  5. I’d like giveaway #2. Why you ask? Well, once can never have too many notebooks and the covers are such beautiful colors.

  6. Giveaway #3, please. I’ve been trying to do a new sketch every day. The orange cover would make it tough to overlook this notebook!

  7. The Monologue Basics A5 reminds me of a couple of thinner books I had when I was younger. I really like the blank pages, and the guide line page was always just an added bonus to me. They inspire the creativity of a sketchbook, to me. And (!) have the dual ability to just convert to a regular notebook (though the guide page doesn’t come standard with this one, which is fine).

    I really like all of these notebooks, though. The Basics A5 just wins me the most, but they all look like they have just the durability I’m looking for.

    Also, I’d like to enter for Giveaway #2.

  8. I would like to be entered for prize #1. I write every day and it would be awesome to add some of these notebooks to the stack I am writing in now!

  9. I would love to try #3…I have plenty of writing notebooks, but interesting sketchbooks are much harder to find. Thanks!

  10. #2 looks awesome. The gilded edges are classy journal material for sure. Look like the type of notebooks that make you want to write in them.

  11. I would love to enter for giveaway #2. I would love to use these for planning and recording some of my favorite quotes/poems. 🙂

  12. The sketchpad interests me the most. It is the most different from the paper I currently use (a lot of Tomoe River and Clairefontaine). I’m really interested to see how it does with my Copperplate homework. #3 for me, please.

  13. Thank you! I would love to enter Giveaway #3 for the orange Monologue Sketch Pad – I love to draw with my fountain pens, and this would be just the thing! Excellent nail polish, BTW!

  14. I’d love #1, as the notebook would perfectly coordinate with my MB Daniel Defoe ink. There’s no shame in that, correct?

  15. Wow I’d be happy with any of these, particularly 1 and 3, but since you’re forcing us to choose…I guess I’m not sketching as much these days and that green is pretty much my favorite shade ever and I’ve never seen it on any decent quality journal. And orange is pretty rapidly becoming my second favorite color and the horizontal elastic is pretty unique. Plus if I don’t like it as much in person, my coworker and fountain pen enabler (she introduced me to JetPens…couple hundred dollars later, here I am…) loves orange.

  16. #1 because green is my fave color. I’ll use it on my travels to record notes about trips for my “middle aged woman travels solo to overcome her fears” book of essays. Thanking you in advance. Been reading your blog for years!

  17. I would love to win prize #1….honestly any of them ha. Not too many options in affordable journals to suit my pens here. Useful for my College education course!

  18. Thanks for the giveaway!

    I’d like to be considered for giveaway #1. This would be perfect for my needs given November is “Write a Novel Month,” and I intend to take part. The bigger notebook is perfect for writing, while the smaller one if great for organization and brain-storming!

    Thanks again

    Cheers ~ Jack

  19. I Would Love Giveaway Number 2! I’ve Started Writing Journal That I Can Give To My Daughters When They’re Older, And These Seem Beautiful To Make A Perfect Keepsake!

  20. I am interested in giveaway no 2 because the gold is perfect for the bottle of Ina-Ho I’m currently coveting.

  21. Cool giveaway! I’d like to enter for giveaway #3, because I enjoy new types of notebooks, and I haven’t ever seen a reporter style book with sketch paper before. And I love orange notebooks. And are those pages held in with a glue top? Because I would definitely use it to make silly sketches and then tear them out to send to pen pals. I’d keep listing reasons why I’d give this notebook a good home, but that might get ridiculous.

  22. Thank you for this post. I think that all of these notebooks are great. It would be great to be entered into Giveaway #3 as I am always looking for the next great note or sketch book to use my fountain pens and ink/paint in. Thanks so much in advance!

  23. Not an easy choice, but your giveaway #2 edges out giveaway #1. Giveaway #3 looks interesting, but I haven’t used a reporter style notebook and maybe it is best not to get started down that route right now. Thanks for the chance.

  24. I’d love giveaway #1. I’m a reporter and all my Moleskines and Field Notes are almost full. Please don’t make me return to the ring-bound monstrosities from the stationery cupboard…

  25. Egad, #1 or #2, such a decision. I think I would be very happy with either, and most grateful.

    I do like the orange, but the green looks a little bit too much like the standard military notebook.

    #2 please.

  26. I like giveaway number 1 because I love the idea of the green journal having the inside pocket, pen holder and bookmark!

  27. WOW!!I love all three, but I really love Giveaway #1!! I like that it has a pen holder and a pocket inside.

  28. enter me for #2, but I will say it’s a hard choice. any of them would be awesome. i’m getting closer to finishing my “diary” journal, so a nice solid new notebook would be great.

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