The Seven Seas “Writer” Tomoe River Paper Journal (Size A5):
I first fell in love with Tomoe River paper after buying a tablet from the Fountain Pen Network classifieds. So when I discovered a journal made out of Tomoe paper, I was very excited. If you’ve never used Tomoe River Paper, you are missing out on an impressive writing experience. Even though the paper is quite thin (52 gsm), it is fountain-pen friendly, smooth as glass (but not slick), and as lovely to touch as silk. Its subtle cream color is not too yellow to throw off the shade of your ink. The quality is impeccable. Even though Tomoe paper is thin, it has a magical quality that prevents bleed through (though there is slight show through). Even my wettest pens do well with this paper.
The Seven Seas Writer is a journal sold by Nanami Paper for $32.00 (USD). It is A5 size (8.3×5.8 inches) and has 480 thread-bound pages. The lines are light but visible and are 7mm apart, which is not too broad and not too narrow for my writing. The pages and journal cover have smooth, rounded edges. The journal is thick (15 mm), but not heavy due to the special qualities of the Tomoe paper. Everything is sparse, clean, and beautiful.
The Seven Seas Writer comes neatly packaged in a box with a kraft slip case. It is professionally bound in Japan and lays perfectly flat when opened (though you may have to press on the binding a little). Two book ribbons are included, one blue and one burgundy. The cover is black and is made of flexible, water-resistant, book-binding material. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it fits well in my Oberon large journal cover even though the Seven Seas Writer is a little small for it. I love my Oberon cover, but I am sorely tempted to buy the beautiful Gfeller Skirting leather cover from Nanami ($112). I love its simplicity and I’m a sucker for journal covers.
I’ve been using Rhodia Webnotebooks for the past several years and never thought I would abandon them. But, I’ve always found the dot grid to be too narrow for my writing, so the 7mm line spacing in the Seven Seas is a much better fit. Plus at 480 pages, the Seven Seas offers more bang for your buck. Webbies have only 96 pages and are $25 (at Goulet Pens). So, for a few more dollars, you get a terrific journal with the best paper and lots of pages upon which to write your greatest thoughts.
Journals, of course, are a very personal choice. What one person loves, another person might dislike. Some people prefer simple spiral notebooks. Others want permanently bound leather journals. My preference is to have a lovely, refillable journal cover with a journal that suits my fountain pens and my writing. I believe I’ve found the perfect one.