The Life Vermilion Notebook
Just a couple of weeks ago I was all about the 7″x10″-ness of the B5 size. After being chained to the monstrosity that is letter-size for so long, it was such a relief shaving off an inch or more off each side.
Well as they say, give ‘em an inch and they’ll take a mile.
This 32 sheet notebook is B6-sized (125 x 176 mm, 4.92 x 6.93 in), which is kind of a weird one, especially for us Americans out there. The best way I can describe it is that if it were any smaller, you could fit it in your pocket. A B6-sized notebook will not fit in anyone’s pants pockets, and my pants have pretty big pockets. Above I have the A5 Rhodia Webnotebook and the bit-smaller-than-A6 Moleskine for comparison.
Unlike most of the Japanese notebooks that I’ve used that have tape over their bindings, this one exposes it to all. It’s a stitched binding, which helps a lot in laying flat (although it takes a bit more force to do so than I’m used to). The stitching itself is so bizarre, with the crooked lines and the huge bumps where the thread comes out. I don’t know how this will affect the lifespan of the stitching, but it’s certainly interesting to look at.
This is another one of those papers whose color is hard to capture on a bad camera. It’s advertised as a cream-colored paper, and that’s what it is, leaning hard towards yellow. The 5mm graph lining is where the notebook derives its name. It’s a very sharp, clean red-orange that in some lighting has hints of pink, almost like a coral. Combined with the cream paper, it all looks very soft, rather than the stark white and blue of most other graphs.
All of my fountain pens perform fantastically on this paper. Even the finicky Baystate Blue (albeit in Fine nib) doesn’t feather. The paper isn’t glassy smooth, but it’s not particularly textured either. If you enjoy smooth papers, this one will be fine with you.
Note that due to the nature of colored papers, your inks may not look as bold and saturated as they would on stark white paper.
Bleedthrough is thankfully non-existent, and showthrough is really only there to the extent that my pens made markings in the 85gsm paper. Really, if you’re a fountain pen user (and you use the same range of nib sizes as me!!) this notebook will serve you fantastically.
I’m currently working through another notebook for class notes at the moment, but I cannot wait until I get to this one. The presentation is just lovely, and it really just performs way better than it should. It’s definitely going to take some getting used to with the smaller size, but fortunately I can’t see myself getting any smaller, with the next size down being the pocketable A6.
Pens and pencils used:
- Lamy Vista F nib w/ Rohrer and Klinger Scabiosa
- Pilot 78G M nib w/ Diamine Sherwood Green
- Pilot Metropolitan M nib w/ Diamine Syrah
- TWSBI 580AL Orange EF nib w/ Diamine Sunset
- Montblanc 144 M nib w/ Private Reserve Electric DC Blue
- Hero 447 F nib w/ Noodler’s Baystate Blue
- Platinum Preppy EF nib w/ Platinum Blue (cartridge)
- Uniball Signo DX 0.38mm in Violet
- Sakura Pigma Micron 05 in Royal Blue
- Pilot Hi-Tec-C 0.5mm in Usuzumi Gray
- Palomino Blackwing Pearl in Standard Pencil Graphite Color
- Morning Glory Mach 3 0.38mm in Blue Black
- Uniball Kuru-Toga 0.5mm