- 5.8″ x 8.3″” (A5)
- Lined Ruling
- 8mm ruled, fine cream colored paper with watermarking
- 100 sheets
- Turquoise Cover with gold foil logo, thread binding with a taped spine
- $15.99 USD from Nanami Paper (no affiliation, but fast shipping and nicely packaged!)
- Sailor Professional Gear Imperial Black in Fine Nib
- Diamine Eau de Nil ink
- Various other ink / nib tests
Notes: What drew me to this notebook was how great it looks. The embossed gold “LIFE” on the cover, surrounded by screened scrollwork in black ink really pop off of the turquoise heavy card stock cover. It also helps that this notebook is full of wonderful, thick, high quality Japanese paper. I’ve been using more and more Japanese stationery lately, and this notebook is really great. Thanks for reading and enjoy the review!
Appearance and Construction:
This notebook is awesome looking. Outward appearance is very impressive and the construction is just as good. The turquoise cover corresponds to the ruling (in this case, turquoise = lined ruling) and really stands out on my black desk. I keep the notebook out on my desk even if I’m not using it, just to stare. In terms of construction, there are 4 signatures. A signature is a smaller section of bound paper that makes up stitch-bound notebooks. A standard notebook of this size uses around 10. The construction is simple and sturdy and I’m confident it will stand up to being bounced around in a bag or carried around. There are also small dots at the top and bottom of the page. I’m not sure of the purpose, but I like the visual appeal.
Performance and Feel:
The LIFE Noble notebook is loaded with 100 fountain-pen friendly sheets of cream colored paper. It’s nice and smooth, but the watermarking in the page gives it some welcome feedback. The fine Sailor nib never got hung up on the page and it doesn’t shed fibers into narrow nibs. The feedback from the paper’s texture is noticeable, but it’s a welcome feel for me. There’s a bit of show-through from the other side of the page, but no bleed through (even with Baystate Blue). I’m content with the feel and performance of the paper, no complaints here.
Color & Ruling:
The paper in this notebook is a pleasing shade of cream. It’s on the darker side, but it’s not too yellow and doesn’t change the appearance of the color of ink too drastically as some papers can. When held up to the light (or looked at closely), you can see the watermarked lines from the milling of the paper running in horizontal and vertical lines. These watermarks give the paper a rustic and quality feel, but do not get in the way in terms of performance. The ruling is printed in a very light grey ink and is minimally intrusive, allowing your eye to focus on what is on the page, not the guides. I prefer 6 or 7mm ruling for a notebook of this size to accommodate my smaller writing, but the 8mm rule in this notebook isn’t a deal breaker.
Overall Thoughts and Recommendation:
The LIFE Noble notebook looks great, is well made, and loaded with high quality fountain pen-friendly paper. Since this is an imported item, it’s a bit pricier than other notebooks of its size. This A5 notebook was $15.99 and larger sizes have larger prices to match. If you’re looking for a great looking journal that you’re going to cherish, it’s worth checking out the LIFE brand. If Rhodia’s WebNotebook paper is too slick for you, then definitely check this one out. I bought this notebook based solely on how it looked, but I was pleasantly surprised by its overall high quality and performance with fountain pens.
Thanks for reading!