by Shameera Nair Lin
If you’re still around, welcome back! And if you’re new, well, go back and read the other two parts to this three-part saga. I’d like to think it was a journey even Tolkien would envy, but alas, I suspect fate isn’t on my side. If I have somehow convinced you over the weeks that a fountain pen is a great idea, you’ll want to stick around for this journey into the world of… paper.
As wholly unexciting as that might sound, it isn’t. When writing with any sort of pen, different types of paper bring out different qualities. In the case of fountain pens, the ink sheen of certain types of inks is more clearly visible on certain surfaces. This time, we’ll take a look at paper types that will work with fountain pens — which tend to work less efficiently on certain types of paper — but there will hopefully be something for everyone. We will keep the list to as low a price bracket as possible!
1. Livenotes by Pen Gallery
Livenotes are a fresh offering from a local fountain pen store, Pen Gallery, where you can obtain an A5 filled with 68gsm Tomoe River paper — in a notebook similar to the style of Field Notes and Rhodia — for RM12.90, which is cheaper than other equivalents in the market. In the fountain pen community, Tomoe River is often said to be unmatched. Click HERE for variations of the notebook.
2. Rhodia Webnotebook
If you’re interested in journaling, these are the perfect companions to your fountain pen (or any pen, really). Filled with ultra smooth 90g ivory paper and bound with a solid hardcover, this is one of the best options on the market. However, one advantage of the Webbie is the range of sizes and colours — you could go from A5 to a pocket-sized A7, for on-the-go musings. Prices range according to the size of the notebook; I recommend going to CzipLee and taking a look in person.
For those without an interest in a hardcover, you could get the Rhodia pads, which come in different sizes and will not break the bank.
3. Leuchtturm 1917
Leuchtturm notebooks and planners come with a beautiful range of colours, but I like these for their neat efficiency and availability in dot grid, lined and plain versions. They are pretty decent for fountain pens as well, although I’d recommend sticking with regular inks meant for heavy-duty writing, rather than anything more expressive.They are, however, on the more costly end, easily hitting RM90 on average.
Zequenz notebooks used to be sold in Popular bookstores across the country, but they’re now mainly available online in Malaysia. Affordable and well-made, they come in slick colours and sizes, and are decent enough for regular fountain pen inks to ensure no substantial bleed-through occurs. Click HERE to check out colour schemes and types.
5. Clairefontaine notebooks
Clairefontaine is a staple for fountain pens, with paper that will do your pen justice. With that being said, I am personally not a fan of lined notebooks, and so I shy away from most Clairefontaine-made notebooks. Still, this is value for money, and you could get a regular A5 notebook for RM10.50 HERE.
If none of these notebooks appeal to you, Moleskine limited edition notebooks are very readily available on the market! Some swear by them, others revile them. Personally, although I own about three Moleskines and believe they have gorgeous covers, they wouldn’t be my first choice for fountain pens. However, ball pens work amazingly on Moleskines and you get a choice of annual limited edition covers ranging from Star Wars to the Little Prince.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading three articles on the subject of stationery, and thanks for letting me put all those hours I spent procrastinating on my final uni submissions to excellent use. If you have any questions, feel free to send me an email. If you’d like to get me a fountain pen, similarly, feel free to send me an email.