Notebook Review: Midori Grain Wirebound B6

I purchased the Midori Grain Notebook ($15.50) is available in a B6 size (though it is also available in a reporter-style pocket notebook).

This lovely wirebound notebook includes 100 Sheets – 50 lined white sheets and 50 blank cream sheets and a vertical elastic to keep the book closed. The Grain notebook has two notable features that might be of interest.

The first feature are the covers that are made of recycled leather material. The covers are available in brown or black. When I see methods to reuse or repurpose materials, I am very interested. The cover is thin leather and flexible. There is an additional cardstock cover under the leather to provide additional structure and support. The back cover is kraft cardstock (AKA chipboard) and is the same color as the under-cover but a bit thicker.

the two layers of covers on the back of the Grain notebook

Th second feature of interest is the two different types of Midori MD paper: a natural white paper in the front with lines and an ivory blank paper in the back half of the notebook. For anyone whose days flip flop between sketches, doodles and other drawings to lists, meeting notes and other writing, having both options in one compact fountain pen-friendly notebook seems like a no-brainer.

There is also two back covers. The previously mentioned, stiff kraft cardstock with grommets and the elastic as well as a lighter weight kraft cover similar to the under-cover on the front of the book. I did have issues with the elastic creating a bit of a hump no matter how I tried to position it, move it out of the way or wrap it around the back cover

Writing Samples:

Writing samples aren’t entirely necessary as the paper is the same quality as many of Midori MD’s other products but in case you are unfamiliar with the paper, I thought I’d provide some samples.

Writing sample: lined white paper, front of stock

The paper is smooth and fairly lightweight. The lines are dotted and pleasantly light so as not to be distracting. After every five dotted lines there is a solid line to help divide up a week, a project, or a list.

Writing sample: lined white paper, back of stock

No pen bleed through the paper or feathered but the paper is quite thin so there is a bit of showthrough. If you’re inclined to use bold or broad pen nibs with jet black ink, this might be distracting to use both sides of the paper but even my bold brush pens did not create enough show through to be difficult to use the other side.

Writing sample: black cream paper, front of stock

The warm cream paper felt and performed exactly the same as the white lined paper. The cream color makes the blank sheets visually different but the performance was consistent to the white paper. It’s not designed for heavy ink or watercolor coverage but for day-to-day sketching, doodling and freeform work, it will handle the task.

Writing sample: blank cream paper, back of stock

Again, the show through on the back is noticeable but there’s no bleeding onto the back of the sheet.

Pens used in the writing tests

My One Quibble:

This notebook has one issue, in my eyes. The eleastic used to close the notebook is quite round and thick so when the notebook is open, there is no place to put the elastic that it does not create a bulge or lump under your writing surface.

It causes the notebook to bow a little as well where the rivets add additional bulk on each end. Regardless, the elastic is my one big annoyance. My inclination is to remove the back cover entirely and rely on the inner, under-cover to provide support for the back of the notebook. I might first try to remove the elastic and grommets to see if I can save the stiffer back cover before removing it entirely.

Overall, a notebook filled with two kinds of Midori MD paper for under $20 is a great deal and a solid notebook. If you have one or purchase one, let me know what you do with the elastic. I’m curious to find a good solution.

DISCLAIMER: Some items included in this review were provided by Vanness Pen Shop for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

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5 comments / Add your comment below

  1. That is a lot of notebook for little money. I don’t believe I’ve ever used white Midori paper. I prefer dot over line though. Still, putting it on the one day list.

  2. sorry to totally miss the point but what is that delicious looking leather item in the first picture? pen case? wallet?

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