Thursday, February 7, 2013

Green Inspired Cityscape Pocket Notebook

With an unassuming price tag of 3 dollars and a stylish design, it didn't take long for the Green Inspired Cityscape Notebook Set to catch my eyes while I was doing my window shopping at Target. Instead of hauling it right on the spot, I decided to go home and searched for some reviews instead (proud dumb-phone user here).
Anyway, I managed to find one review on Target's site and luckily for me (so I thought), the customer mentioned that the paper quality is nice and totally fountain pen compatible. According to him/her, it only shows skipping on very broad nib. After I read the review, I did a mini victory dance and bought the set a few days later. "They are cute, affordable and comes with nice paper...This must be my lucky week" I thought as I picked it up.
The notebooks came wrapped with clear plastic. The one with Big Ben is on the top so it was subjected to some scratches due to handling (all of the stock are like this). It's a shame since I like this deep navy cover the best. On a completely unrelated note: If I were to assign the color theme, I would give London a gray cover, Paris would be dusty purple taupe (like Rue de Paris; Temps de pluie) and New York would be deep navy. (Bright red would be Moscow and lime green would be Miami.)
The notebook are sewn bind (28 pages per notebook) and made of environmental-friendly (recycled and printed with soy-ink, which made it smell funky) paper. As you can see, the thread has a tendency to come of (in at least one of the three) and all of the blue ones (that I checked) have shown some tear. I am not sure what is going on there...
The material of the cover is really nice- Like a cardboard-plastic hybrid (with a leathery pores) - The interior is a lighter shade of blue (or maybe turquoise) depicting...I am assuming this is the map of the London underground? All three are like this which is an interesting touch. Now to the amazing, smooth and fountain-pen compatible paper. Wait a minute...
What are those blue dots? Bleed-through! My guess is that there must be some discrepancy between my and the Target guest reviewer's definition of compatibility because the paper was positively difficult for my fountain pens to write on (Pilot extra fine + Noodlers, Sailor Medium + J. Herbin, Pilot Broad with Lamy...none worked). The paper, as smooth as it feels, seems to have an ivory-toned waxy coating on it that water-based inks simply wouldn't go on...Well, it does write but you can see the half of the writing is made up of microscopic skipping. When I press a little harder than usual for the ink to go on, I get a good deal of bleed through...
Beside fountain pens, Marvy LePen also looks (the first chunk was written with the one in teal) funny/ much fainter on the paper. On the other hand, all of my gel pens worked fine on the paper so...I guess the "fountain-pen friendly" paper is just hydrophobic?

Overall: Nice design, great price and very handy for jotting down small ideas you have. Beside the the misunderstanding about the fountain pen part, I still like them and would recommend them to gel-pen users. (On a side note, many "green" recycled paper are like this...I find it a little ironic how the environmental-friendly paper only works with disposable pens).

P.S. The writing sample is the lyrics of a J-pop song, click here to see the video. (Now excuse me while I squee like a pre-teen Belieber >_< )

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