You know how sometimes a grid notebook is, well, too 'gridded', but a lined notebook isn't at all gridded...?
[Hopefully this isn't just me...]
Enter the Lamy notebooks.
They're a design I've not seen before, though they do remind me of Séyès ruling to some extent. Let me explain. They have a 4mm grid marked out in a light grey dotted line. Every vertical line is dotted; every other horizontal line is solid.
The result? A notebook that can be used as a ruled notebook, with a reasonably sensible 8mm ruling, or that can be used as a grid notebook. I really like it.
I was sent one of the 64-page soft-cover books (sold in a set of 3) to assess. The cover is slightly textured card with a soft coating. The pages are thread-bound with a bright neon-coloured thread (making them lie flat) and there are 64 pages in each book. They come as a set of three in either A5 size or A6 size. The ivory paper is 90 gsm and there is a plain border around each page. There are no pages numbers or back pockets or page markers etc. because these are basic notebooks. If you like the idea of the 'Lamy ruling' (lined and grid) then Lamy also do bigger notebooks (as in, they have more pages!) in either softcover or hard cover, and these have the bells and whistles you'd expect.
The big question... what's the paper like?
I threw my big guns at it, as well as some other pens that frequently cause issues, plus biros and pencils. Dry time with my really wet pens was okay - even smudgy lefties like Stu might manage to leave the page unsmeared. There wasn't masses of sheen - it's not that kind of paper - but I got reasonable shading. There was zero feathering, zero bleed-through and zero show-through.
There was enough 'tooth' to the paper to make writing on it in either fountain pen or pencil a pleasant experience. I never find writing in biro or rollerball a pleasant experience, whatever the paper, so perhaps I'm not the right judge for that, but it didn't seem any more horrible!
I might hate their fountain pens, but by golly, the paper in these notebooks is amazing! Coupled with the ability to use them as either lined (the grid markings are fairly unobtrusive) or a grid notebook or both and I'm a convert!
This was one of the basic notebooks - sold in packs of three. If you want a bigger, more robust version, they are also available. You can see the whole Lamy notebook range at Nero's here. I've definitely got my eye on the hardback version with the wine-coloured edges!