Berlin Notebook

by Amanda Fleet

Confession... I'm not a huge fan of small notebooks. I realise that as a writer/reviewer for a company that started out called "Pocket Notebooks" this puts me at somewhat of a disadvantage. My personal preference is for A5 (or bigger).

The eagle-eyed amongst you will have noticed that, at 10.5 x 15.8cm, the Berlin notebook is not A5. It's not A6 either. Or pocket-size (which is commonly 9 x 14cm). For me, that little bit of extra room just about knocks it out of pocket-sized. I do realise that for many of you, this then knocks it out of "comfortably slips in a back pocket" size. If so, I'm guessing you're male. Women's clothing is usually so deficient in pockets, there's rarely a decent sized back-pocket, so the point is moot. And given the sunshine-yellow cover, this isn't a notebook that will get lost in a bag (unless your entire bag is full of sunshine-yellow things, of course).

The cover is a sturdy card, the paper is 100gsm recycled, dot-grid paper, the binding is stapled, and the last 8 pages of the book are perforated. There are 48 pages in total.

As Scrib has already noted, it doesn't play especially well with fountain pens, but it's lovely with pencil, with a smooth-feeling surface that still has plenty of grip. The lack of plastic is a big tick for me, especially with the recycled paper, and I like the increase in real-estate over a smaller pocket notebook. The bright yellow cover means that it won't get lost, even when my desk is approaching midden-status (I'm currently editing... my desk won't be tidy until the book is finished!).

If I'm being truthful, it's not really a notebook I would buy, but that's predominantly because I'm not a huge fan of small notebooks. As long as you don't want to write in it in fountain pen, it's actually got a superb surface to the paper. Gel pens and pencils are a delight on it, and nothing bleeds through or shows through to the other side:

pen and pencil tests variety of implements

As you can see, clean as a whistle on the reverse!

It's the depths of winter here in the UK and that cheery pop of yellow really brightens my desk and reminds me that spring (and summer) will arrive eventually.