Friday review roundup

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Happy Friday, everyone! What better way to kick off a winter weekend than with some constructive criticism of Habana notebooks:

  • Azizah at Gourmet Pens compares the new, ivory-paged Habana to its old white-paper counterpart. The verdict: more showthrough on the new Habana with fountain pens, and “even though the ivory paper is satiny smooth, the white paper is so smooth that it’s practically glossy. It gives start contrast to any color of ink and makes them look outstanding. I miss that.”
  • Jake Seliger tackles the small Habana’s big problem at The Story’s Story: “it’s not quite a pocket notebook. It’s also not quite a full-sized notebook, either, at 4″ x 6″, it’s uncomfortably in between, too large to carry around and too small for classrooms.”

I know Azizah’s not alone in her preference for the old, white paper. Do you agree with Jake that the small Habanas are awkwardly sized?

3 thoughts on “Friday review roundup

  1. I’ve had a small Habana on my wishlist for a long time precisely because of its size. Well, and because it’s apparently thinner than the Moleskine pocket standard, also, and is available in an unlined version now. The slightly larger size makes it viable as a transportable-by-purse journal and I’m all for lightness. I like cream-colored pages and haven’t yet found the absolutely “perfect” notebooks. Right now, for example, I’m in love with a Quo Vadis Visual 17 planner (great sale price) with silky smooth cream-colored pages. Showthrough? Yes. But I can deal with it because the other features are working really well for me so far.

    My list is long and funds are tight, but for me, the Habana features have improved (I do have an original version large, lined, white Habana).

  2. I’m with Azizah in preferring the old paper. Even the well behaved Iroshizuku inks show through on the new stuff. And that’s including using an OM nib, so it’s not just the bigger nibs I usually use.

    Have to disagree with Jake, tho’. The smaller Habanas are perfect for purses and travel. I filled one during a 9 day trip abroad last year and the pocket in the back was perfect for momentoes.

    Strangely enough, the 64g paper on the small ones had about the same show through as the newer “improved” 80 something on the current Habanas.

    I’m also annoyed by the narrower lines on the new Habanas. While I can fit my bigger nibs between the lines with practice, I find they really slow me down as I have to take care or I wander outside those lines. The format might fit those who prefer needle nibs [Asian market?] but not this Western nib user. I like “college ruled” but this feels cramped. Very much a “new Coke” kind of “improvement” to what WAS the perfect notebook. If Quo Vadis was trying to push us over to the dot webbies with the ugly colored covers, they did a good job.

    I’m now splitting my purchases between the Webbies when I need an elastic bound notebook and the cloth or staple bound Clairefontaine for bulk writing. Neither quite provide what I got from the old Habanas.

    As for size, I prefer 4×6 and 6×8 or whatever that other size is in the Clairefontaine to the full 8×11 size in notebooks. Much more portable, less paper wasted when I need to burn a part of a page to separate classes/projects/new entries.

    I really miss the old blue color on the covers. Love the lime green, but the raspberry somehow doesn’t do it for me, tho’ it’s a vast improvement on the haz mat orange of the Webbies.

  3. I like the old journals for a variety of reasons.
    Currently, I’m using a small Habana and the size is perfect. If it were any smaller, I couldn’t make much of a journal out of it. If it were any larger, it would be too big to get in my where I like to put it.

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