Pebble Stationery Co. Pocket Tomoe River Notebook Review

Pebble Stationery Co. Pocket Tomoe River Notebook

What is it?

A pocket-sized notebook with a subtle aesthetics, a sewn spine and more sheets than usual of unusually good quality paper. Read on to find out how this notepad’s design translates into real life writing experience.

 

Specs:

  • 4mm Dot Grid paper 52GSM
  • Sewn Stitch Bound
  • Grey, Linen finished cover
  • 140 x 90mm or 3.5 x 5.5”
  • 80 Sheets

Notes

Paper quality is probably the most important aspect of a notebook, so let’s start there. The Pebble Stationery Co. Pocket Tomoe River Notebook is, unsurprisingly, full of Tomoe River paper. This wasn’t a big deal to me until I got to try it.

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Originally developed in the 1980’s, Tomoe River paper was designed in Japan for commercial catalogs and brochures. Japanese companies needed thin paper to keep brochure weight down, which didn’t sacrifice print quality and didn’t feel cheap in the hands of their customers. Tomoe River paper is an excellent choice for a pocket notebook for the same reasons: it’s lightweight, holds ink well and feels great – whilst still being impossibly thin.

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The 52gsm paper makes for a slim and pocketable notebook with over one and a half times more pages than your standard 50-page pocket pad. Writing with fountain pens, gel and ballpoints was smooth with little feathering and minimal bleed-through. Whilst I probably wouldn’t choose my wettest writer for this notebook, it’s pretty much fine for most writing instruments out there. Since Tomoe River is almost as thin as tracing paper, you may have to pay some extra attention to how hard you push with your pen. Indentations may make the other side unusable regardless of bleed.

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The cover is pretty sturdy and doesn’t seem to crease easily. Mine was pretty easy to bend back into shape even after a day riding in my back pocket. I did find that for the life of me I couldn’t get it to stay down after use. This might bother you if you like your notepad to lie flat on the desk when closed. The sewn blue binding is a nice alternative to the staples usually found on this size pad and looks like it’ll hold up to the occasional page being torn out.

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Aesthetics are on point, with a plain grey linen cover and muted branding. If anything, I think the appearance is a little downplayed. Inside the front and rear covers there’s a section for contact details along with a company statement, explaining how sales go to supporting children in need.

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Overall, the Pebble Notebook is a pretty decent choice. The high point is of course the Tomoe River paper, which is perfect for a pocket pad. At $9 for a pack of two, this 80-page notebook is good value. If I could change one thing, it would be something to give it a more premium feel, like having the blue stitching show through the spine. But then again, its subtlety adds to its charm.

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The Pocket Tomoe River Notebook doesn’t look like an expensive notebook, but the writing experience it delivers definitely feels like one. It’s essentially a pocket notebook for secret stationery nerds. You can grab one here if you’d like to see for yourself. 

Posted by

Appreciator of well-designed pens, stationery and other gear. Also hiking, coffee, single malts and anything with an industrial or vintage vibe. Based in the South West, U.K.

18 thoughts on “Pebble Stationery Co. Pocket Tomoe River Notebook Review

  1. NIce review – thank you. I have a couple of these books waiting to be used and my appetite is now whetted. I love the fact that Tomoe River paper was developed for such a mundane, low-cost purpose but has since achieved legendary (and expensive) status in the fountain pen world.

  2. Good review. Tomoe River paper is one I haven’t tried yet. Currently happy enough with Clairefontaine and Rhodia.

  3. Beautiful paper and notebook, I’m a Tomoe River fan and pledging to write more on this paper for things like thank yous and future journal entries.

  4. These look very lovely. I love thohe idea of pocket notebooks with my favourite fp paper. Only postage to the UK stops me ordering immediately, but maybe later . . . .

  5. I would love to win a pack of these, more so after reading your great review. I’m used to this paper chunking up, so I’d probably use a band to close it, but good to have a heads up on that.

  6. Great review. I am a fan of Rhodia & Apica but also am enjoying stone paper on some occasions. It would be great in the future to always have a compared and contrast. Possibly a side by side of a popular choice for many. Additionally maybe putting a clear way to compare a GSM weight above and below the the paper being tested. Thanks for the time and effort. Nice write up.

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