Writersblok notebooks are something that I had not yet come across, so I really wanted to get my hands on them and see what they can do. Are they an alternative worthwhile, compared to the usual suspects, or do they just look similar to the notebooks of the big brands? Well, let’s see.
First of all, the notebooks are available in the following formats: Large and pocket, hard- and softcover, plain and ruled. That’s the combinations you can go for. The pricing is pretty good: the pocket hardcover-version (plain) that I am reviewing here costs 10€. The large one (about A5) would go for 13€. Free shipping in Europe is definetly another plus!
The specs as stated on the distribution website are:
- Recycled Leather Covers
- 192 Pages / Acid-Free Paper
- Thread-Bound / Opens Flat
- 16 Perforated Detachable Plain Half Pages
- Expandable Back Pocket
- Page Marker
So let’s have a look at that. Size first up. As you can see in a comparsion against Moleskines 9x14cm pocket-size notebook, the Writersblok pocket-notebooks have a somewhat unusual size. If you take a look at the picture above, again, you will notice a remark “iPhone 6 fits inside”. I do not really get that one, since I don’t know how I should fit my iPhone into that notebook, but anyway. Let’s compare the size at least.
Well, the size comparison actually holds true. My iPhone 6 in a Blumax leather case (my favorite iPhone-cases by the way!) is pretty much about the same size as the Writersblok pocket-notebook.
Same impression when put on top of each other.
Upon being turned around, the Writersblok-beauty will reveal it’s origin on the lower backside, just as any notebook that prides itself on being a quality one. The embossing looks great, just as the leather covers do as one can see on this close-up. Very beautiful structure and feels really soft in the hands. Good grip I would say.
When opening the notebook, one sees the thread-binding of the blank pages. The paper is not really white, but more of the Moleskine’ish ivory-sort-of-color. Rounded edges, of course.
Here is a look at the detachable plain half pages. The perforation is pretty rough, which makes it easy to tear them out.
The expandable back pocket really is one of a kind – spacewise, I guess you could park another notebook in there. It really is huge and seems pretty solid.
Next up: Writing test. I worked on the paper with some of the pens that I normally use on a daily basis. Well, the paper might not be the smoothest on the planet, but it is certainly more than alright to write on.
Upon turning the page around I was pleasantly surprised. An in my view very tolerable shine-through, but that’s it. Really awesome and definetly usable!
The only thing that I can not really agree on is the “opens flat”-statement, which I would say is the only downside of the notebook. As one can see on the picture, due to the way the cover is made, the notebook might open flat on the writing-surface, but it won’t really lay flat on a table.
It is not as disturbing when writing on it as it might look on the picture, though. Still, if you really want your notebook to open completely flat and be flat on the table, this one here won’t exactly do that.
Otherwise, I think that the notebook is really good and pretty affordable. The competition from Moleskine and Leuchtturm, for instance, is slightly more expensive (but will compensate you with better paper quality, I would say). While the Moleskine ones will come with a comparable 192 plain pages, Leuchtturm will give you a full 249 pages to fill.
So at the end, it is a matter of taste, I guess. One other thing, however, is a definite plus with the Writersblok-notebooks, and I do not want to leave this unmentioned as a final point: Part of the proceeds from Writersblok goes to literacy programs that are for example dedicated to supporting students with their creative and writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. This is definitly a reason for buying such a notebook, in my opinion. And it is a line that I do hope more suppliers of stationary-materials will follow in the future. Thanks for that, Writersblok!