The “Writer” notebook that the online shop Nanami sells under their Seven Seas brand is already in its fourth edition and a lot has been written about it already, so I will only note for the purposes of this review that it is a solid 480-page block of Tomoe River paper, stitched and bound in a soft cover, that comes in its own casing. I liked it enough to buy again. I’m a bit intimidated by thick bound journals – I usually go for spiral-bound notebooks that you can tear pages off of – but the Writer has worked beautifully for me as a transcribing notebook (more on this below).
The thick stack of onionskin paper opens completely flat, and the layers form a cushion beneath the fountain pen nib; I really feel that Tomoe River paper looks and feels its best at volumes like this (as with the Hobonichi planner). When I first started the notebook I was concerned about the translucency, especially since the ruled lines were sometimes misaligned front and back and you could see it. So for the first half of the notebook I only wrote on the front, but I got over that later on (which was fortunate, because the back side was actually smoother and more pleasant to write on).
The only downside to this notebook is that the shipping costs are prohibitive when ordering from outside the U.S. Paper is heavy, and it usually costs at least as much as the notebook itself to ship, if not more, so it takes a lot of commitment. But on the plus side, the Writer has a lot of pages so I am all set for the next couple of years :)
(Oh, one more shortcoming is that you sometimes find creases inside around the stitching. It’s probably because of the sheer volume of paper being folded and pressed together, but I’ve learned to forgive this.)
This is my first try at uploading a video and the resolution doesn’t seem that great… but hopefully my video skills will improve. I really had fun writing in this notebook! It’s not a diary but a receptacle for literary quotes and passages I wanted to save from online sources and books borrowed from the library. In Korea students of literature routinely transcribe works of their favorite authors, regardless of whether you own the book or not. The act of transcribing is seen as a sort of meditative effort to understand the oeuvre better. I wonder if similar practices exist in the West?