Following the news last week of the demise of Cosmo Air Light, Jesi and I set out to find new or different paper alternatives to recommend. The first option that we decided to try is the Endless Recorder Regalia Paper A5 notebooks ($23.50).
I purchased the dot grid version. The paper is also available in lined and blank. The notebooks are hardcover with a PU leatherette cover with minimal branding printed on the cover, just an embossed logo on the back. The notebook is available in several different colored covers (red, blue, green, and grey) but I am willing to bet that the black covers sell 10-to-1 over the other colors.
There are 16 perforated pages in the back of the notebook if you need to pull a page out to leave a note. As a reviewer of notebooks, I appreciate this feature since I do my ink tests in the back of the book and can remove these pages if I sell or giveaway a notebook and it looks almost unused without too much trouble.
The dots are small grey pinpricks and each of the pages are numbers. In the past, I’ve had the blank editions of the Endless Recorder notebooks and I don’t think there was any printing on the pages.
Included with the notebook is a little folded insert that has a registration number and a sticker. It’s a nice touch.
The notebook included two ribbon bookmarks. The ends are unfinished and likely to fray if you so much as look at them so I recommend getting out a lighter or candle flame and hover the ends of the bookmarks close enough to the flame with melt the ends thereby sealing them against fraying. I used my barbecue lighter and pulled the bookmark out of the book from the top so I could hold the flame and bookmark as far away from the flammable paper as possible. I moved the flame slowly closer to the ribbon until the ends melted. The flame did not need to touch the ribbon to seal it. Use common sense and safety precautions if you decide to try this at home. I will not be held responsible if you set your notebook on fire.
The book also has a classic gusseted pocket in the back of the book and a vertical elastic closure in contrasting turquoise.
Compared to previous Endless Recorder notebooks:
The image above is three different editions of the Endless Recorder notebooks. The paper content information is not printed on the inside of the notebooks so once the paper wrap is removed, it can be difficult to tell which notebook has Tomoe River paper and which has Regalia paper without touching and feeling the paper. The side view makes it clear that the Regalia Paper notebook is thicker because the paper is thicker but otherwise, there are no distinct indications or coding that I could find.
From top to bottom, the original 68gsm Tomoe River with a single ribbon bookmark, the middle is the current 68gsm Tomoe River with two ribbon bookmarks and the bottom is the new 80gsm Regalia Paper. It’s clear that the thicker paper creates a slightly chunkier book. Endless Recorder notebooks in the past featured the thicker 68gsm Tomoe River paper and not the thinner 52gsm. These notebooks will still be available for purchase through Endless and its retailers.
For Comparison Purposes:
To provide a benchmark, I did comparisons swatches of the same fountain pens and ink on a notebook I have with the original 52gsm Tomoe River paper, the Elia Note. I wanted to be able to clearly compare the sheen and shading to the coveted Tomoe River to be able to see clearly how similar or differently the inks behave.
This is the back side of the first page of swatches. Tomoe River 52gsm has a lot of show through but the only really evident bleed through is the large California Teal swatch.
The backside of the left hand page with the Sailor Shikiori Marker swatches show some show through but not terrible,
This is a close-up of the sheen of Monteverde California Teal on the 52gsm Tomoe River. There is a lot of visible magenta sheen.
Above is a swatch of Ferris Wheel Press Ferritales Aventurine with rose gold shimmer. The metallic shimmer and grey ink shading is all clearly visible on the Tomoe River paper.
Using a Pilot 912 with an FA nib, the above sample shows the shading of a classic Robert Oster ink, Bora Bora Waters. The pinky sheen is also clearly evident.
Writing Samples on Endless Recorder Regalia:
Now, I’ll go through the same ink and pen tests on Regalia.
Since the Regalia paper is supposed to be fountain pen friendly and a potential replacement for Cosmo Air Light and Tomoe River, I tested only fountain pens on this paper. Okay, and some markers too. With this notebook, we are looking for a primo fountain pen notebook, so that was the focus.
There was no feathering or splining of the writing tests I did. The dry time for ink was a bit longer than I expected but not as long as standard 52gsm TR. If you want to write and run, be sure to keep a piece of blotting paper in your book of you may end of with wet ink transfer on the facing page.
Above is the back side of the left hand page with the large ink swatch. There is a little show through with the large swatch but way less than with Tomoe River.
The above image is the back side of the right hand page with the marker tests. The most evident difference between the Regalia paper and TR is that from the back of the paper, there is considerably less show through. So, no matter what other strengths or weaknesses Regalia paper has, if the show through of 52gsm bothered you, then Regalia will definitely be a better option.
With the swash of Monteverde California Teal, the Regalia paper showed some of the sheen but not as much as TR. The shading is evident for the California Teal as well as the other inks I tried, just not as evident as it is on TR 52gsm. I’d guess it’s probably similar to 68gsm TR.
The swash of Ferris Wheel Press Ferritales Aventurine showed the shading and the rose gold shimmer just fine. The box that the Aventurine shipped in did not indicate that the ink would sheen so we will qualify this as a win.
I did not have a notebook with Cosmo Air Light so I will leave that comparison to Jesi.
The Endless Regalia notebooks are good quality notebooks with very fountain pen friendly paper. The notebooks are priced competitively with other premium notebooks. For an everyday writing journal, notebook or bullet journal, I think its an excellent option. As a replacement for Cosmo Air Light? I don’t know. As a replacement for original Tomoe River? No, not really but we are at a point in fountain pen paper history where good enough is better than nothing at all. I will probably continue to support and use the Endless Notebooks with Regalia Paper as it is good notebook with good paper.
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