Back to B6

by Scribble Monboddo

Long ago in a time before the interwebs, our family summer holiday treat would always end with a declaration that "next week, we're back to basics!". But I can't hold that against a whole paper size, now can I?

So, let's talk formats. If you indulge in the many temptations available from fellow stationery obsessives like Nero's Notes, you'll come across a dizzying array of different sizes and shapes - but sooner or later, the chances are that you'll settle on one or two that work for you. I've certainly got a couple of favourites, particularly the 9 x 14cm 'pocket' size, and good old A5, which I can just about get into a cargo trouser pocket, albeit not entirely comfortably. But it looks like I might just have been missing out...

Allow me, then to introduce to you the exotic paper size known as B6; technically 12.5 x 17.6cm. This is a bit taller than A6, so there's more distance for your writing instrument to run before turning the page, but also quite a bit narrower than A5, so it fits in a cargo pocket very comfortably. If you're a peripatetic sort of scribbler, it could be the perfect size. Here, take a look at mine.

Because Nero HQ knew perfectly well that I live in black combats at weekends, they sent me a bright yellow one so that my side pockets now resemble a close-up of a busy bumble bee. Well, I can live with that. I can live with the notebook too, as it turns out!

The Leuchtturm 'Slim' size is actually a wee bit taller than official B6, but we won't hold that against it. It fits my side pockets so exactly that it could almost have been made for the job, the slightly flexible cover is less bruising on the thighs than a spanking great hardback, and it's a pleasure to write in too. The paper is acceptable for fountain pens (not up there with Clairefontaine, but this is for brain-work rather than calligraphy), and really nice when attacked with a pencil. For bird-watchers, train-spotters or custard-pie collectors, it's almost certainly the absolute bee's knees. Don't fit it there, though.