I came across Ro-Biki notebooks one day whilst wandering around the internet looking at Japanese stationery; I ordered a couple of them and since then they have sat patiently in the review pile awaiting their turn.
Ro-Biki notebooks are made by Yamamoto Paper and sold through their shop on Etsy; they produce a wide range of notebooks ranging from the ‘Basic’, through the ‘Map’ designs to the ‘New York’ range. They also sell an interesting range of papers and sample packs which I think are a great idea as you get to try out a selection of paper without committing to a full pack.
The notebooks come in a range of page options including lined, graph, plain and reticule; I opted for the 5mm reticule as I had never used a reticule designed notebook page and a waxed paper cover.
I placed my order they were despatched quickly and a little while later they arrived; the notebooks are packed in individual plastic sleeves and around the middle is a simple paper band with product information and on the front cover is printed a visual representation of the paper within. My package also included a handwritten thank you note and a free notecard calendar, which I thought was very cool.
Each notebook has sixty pages of a cream coloured paper, printed with the 5mm reticule, all of which are stitched to the cover with matching tread allowing the notebook to open flat when in use. The cover is made of waxed paper, and this in itself is unusual, I’ve never come across a notebook with a waxed paper cover before. This led me to wonder how much of the wax would transfer either to the first and last pages or to your hands?
Turns out Yamamoto Paper have already thought of that because they have included a flyleaf to protect the front/rear pages and when I tested the cover, I had to rub it quite firmly between thumb and forefinger to achieve any transference of wax and even then, it was minimal.
So, next came the ink test and as you can see there was a degree of ghosting, but I was very generous with the Diamine Oxford Blue during the Q-Tip test and I used a wet pen for the text. Overall, I was very pleased with the results and I don’t think, in everyday use, there would be the slightest problem.
Finally, these are great notebooks, the quality is excellent and the prices are very reasonable; so I would urge you to visit their website and view the full range of paper products they have and if you’ve never heard of them before this is an opportunity to treat yourself and try something new.
Disclaimer: The notebooks were 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.