Mini-Reviews: Apica CD15 Notebook + Kokuyo Systemic Semi-B5 Notebook Cover


I’ve gotten back in the habit of sitting down to write two to three longhand pages in the mornings–call it “morning pages,” call it plain journaling, call it what you will. If nothing else, it gives me a place to play with fountain pens and ink. Also a place to figure out next life steps, lament, and record those dreams that were a little too weird to blather about on social media, but which I can’t help wanting to tell *someone* about.

I picked up a B5-ish sized Apica notebook (CD15) at a college bookstore last February, and have been using that for almost the last month. I really like this format and this paper. It’s just about composition book sized (my long time favorite) at 7 x 10 inches, but it’s more or less college ruled, and only 68 pages (counting front and back), which makes it thin and light and easy to carry around. The binding is stitched and sturdy. It has a nice little spot in the corner of each page for recording date and page number. And, unlike many composition books, the paper is super: very smooth, though not quite so slickery as, say, Clairefontaine (which makes it a bit nicer for pencils IMO) and I haven’t had any issues with fountain pen inks bleeding through. Inks *do* take a bit longer to dry than on really lousy/absorbent paper, and the paper is thin enough you can kind of see darker inks on the next page if you squint, but both issues are minimal.


The cardstock cover proved far more durable than I expected. I figured a few days in my bag would do it in, but, floppy though it is, it actually holds up quite well. 20160921_125133

Still, just because, I recently picked up a Kokoyu Systemic Semi-B5 cover.


It holds two of these little guys, which means I can have my present and my previous notebooks, or one for journaling and one for fiction, or what-have-you.


Nice little ribbon bookmarks for each notebook, at least until the kittens destroy them–they *love* these! The ribbon is tied on, and hence replaceable, which may be a good feature in my household. An elastic band holds the whole thing closed in my bag. It’s not a hard cover–you wouldn’t really want to write in your lap unless you had to, but it does add enough stiffness to make it possible in a pinch.

20160921_125025There are little plastic flaps on each side to slide in one cover of the notebook, and it holds them securely. The cover material is nylon canvas–feels a bit like the Timbuk2 cover I had for my Kindle–and I think it will hold up for quite awhile.

So…for the moment, this is my daily notebook solution. As anyone who’s been around me can attest, this can change at any moment.  But right now…this is working well! I’ve been waiting and waiting for someone to start making great quality hard-cover B5 notebooks that don’t cost an arm and a leg, but actually, this notebook/cover solution may be even better for my purposes.