I have to admit that I bought this on a whim simply because it was something different; whilst there are plenty of notebooks that have a flap and magnetic closure, I hadn’t seen one quite like this one.
As the title says this one is modelled after the Hogwarts acceptance letter and this version is licenced and produced by Blue Sky Studios.
The notebook arrived sealed in a clear plastic wrapper with a card corner piece; the notebook is an A5 hardback which is cream in colour. The ‘back’ of the notebook has Harry’s address in Privet Drive and the ‘front’ has the envelope flap and Hogwarts crest and a removable seal. I discovered it was removable when I opened mine and found the seal poorly located; whilst the adhesive is firm I was, quite easily, able to peel the seal off and reposition it.
When you open the notebook the first thing you see is matching cream lining paper front and rear and on the interior side of the flap. This paper is printed with a variety of little black and white images including the flying key, the house symbols, Buckbeak and a time turner et cetera. This is a nice addition to the notebook and demonstrates that Blue Sky put a lot of thought into the design and finish of this notebook.
Once you get into the notebook, you’ll see all the pages have a light grey ‘watermark’ of the Hogwarts Crest on them; this is a good quality image and whilst it occupies the centre of each page it is not intrusive. The printed lines are approximately 6mm apart and are a dashed line rather than a solid line, the top line of the this is solid with short (approximately 2mm) downwards printed lines space at roughly 7mm. 11mm above this is another solid line which is the top line of the page.
Another thing you will notice is the envelope flap, it is at the top edge of the notebook which means it should stay out of the way when you are using the notebook. In use the notebook lies very nearly flat offering either two A5 landscape pages or if you prefer one A4 portrait page. The notebook is glue bound as a single block and being glue bound means it is easy to remove a page if you need to; and it is attached the front and rear covers by a flyleaf that is hidden below the decorative lining papers. As glue binding can be less reliable than stitching, I tested the binding by repeatedly opening and closing the notebook and bending back as far as it would go but so far I have not been able to weaken or damage the glue binding. This leads me to conclude that Blue Sky have done a good job on the binding which means it should last well in everyday use.
I did an ink test using Diamine Oxford Blue and a generous swab test did bleed through however, the handwriting did show through a little but not so badly that you couldn’t use the reverse side, but I would recommend this notebook for pencils and ballpoints but not fountain pens.
All in all, Blue Sky Studios have done a nice job with this notebook; it has been produced to a very good standard and would make an excellent gift for any Harry Potter fan.
I know it’s still Summer but Christmas is only around the corner so this could be a good time to pick one up as a stocking filler.
Disclaimer: This notebook was purchased with my own funds at retail price. The opinions expressed in this review are my own; and I am not connected with either the retailers or manufacturers in any way.