One of the presents that Ana brought me from the San Francisco Pen Show was one of the new Esterbrook “Write Your Story” Journals ($39.99 at Esterbrook). This looks like the perfect journal for me so I’m eager to dig in!
The Esterbrook “Write Your Story” journals are a collaboration between Esterbrook and lettering artist Betty Soldi. The A5 journal comes in three colors: burgundy, teal and camel. The cover has a faux leather feel and is adorned with foil and etched embossing in Betty’s “Alphabetty” font. The journal is hard cover, with a sewn binding.
The inside of the journal is also fun! The first spread shares a bit of history about the Esterbook brand as well as a few facts and tips about writing with different nibs. The next page provides a place to trace the “Alphabetty” font if you wish, and encourages you to have fun with your own lettering. What follows are 2 pages set up for recording the contents of your journal.
The bulk of the journal is made of up numbered pages (190) of 80 lb fountain pen friendly paper in a cream color with 5mm gray dot grid. To the touch it feels smooth and almost a little luxurious. The final details include an envelope at the back, and a ribbon bookmark with an Esterbrook charm.
Now we get to delve into the paper! I found the paper enjoyable to write on. It was super smooth, and the ink dried fairly quickly. There was no feathering or bleeding, and on the plain writing sample (the first one below) there was very little show through.
I then tested wider nibs, different kinds of pens (brush, gel, etc) and even a silver writer which I believe is alcohol based. Even with those there was show through, but no other issues.
Ultimately my opinion on this notebook is that it’s pretty darn nice. I am definitely a tactile person, and just holding the cover and feeling the paper in my hands is a pleasure. It’s not an inexpensive investment and I surely wouldn’t use it for to do lists and the like, but if I’m thinking about keeping it as a journal and re-reading it over and over, then I would definitely consider buying another!
DISCLAIMER: Thanks to Esterbrook for providing this journal free of charge for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.