I was craving one of the larger Traveler’s Notebooks at this point. One that would give me more room to draw and plan. And I liked the slightly thinner cover the originals have in comparison to the Renaissance Art journal. (Don’t get me wrong, I love it to pieces. But I wanted something different and more like the real Midoris for the larger notebook.)
I kept looking at the prices and thinking “No, I can’t justify buying one.” But I didn’t want to get one of the “fauxdoris”, either. The thing about Midoris is that they are a bit like Apple products in that they are not just nice products, but they are beautifully designed and packaged and they feel a bit like a treasure to open. Fake Midoris often do not have that quality, though of course some do, and many of them just looked… cheap. The ones that didn’t were expensive, like real Midoris. And even the ones that looked good usually didn’t have that quality of “vintage notebook that Indiana Jones would probably carry around” that I was looking for.
So then, I received an unexpected Amazon gift card. Surprise! I thought about what I would spend it on. A Midori? But I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. And then I found this. A set of two notebooks and a pen holder from ZLYC. I was skeptical — surely they had to be cheap crap. I looked in the reviews and was surprised to see that they were almost universally positive, and didn’t appear to all be shills, either. On top of it all, the notebooks are the same size as Midoris (and almost an exact look-alike). I thought about it for a while, then took the plunge, ordering a set in Dark Coffee. Here’s what I got:
Let’s just say I was impressed. The leather was perfect — thin and flexible and yet with some good heft to it. It is nice to hold on to. It smelled good, not of chemicals or mildew. They were put together nicely, and each book came with three random inserts (plus an extra plastic pocket insert in the large book).
The large book had a two graph inserts, a free calendar, and the pocket insert; the small book had all kraft paper inserts. I was thrilled, and immediately started customizing the large book. I may use the small one as a gift since I already have the other from Renaissance Arts.
And now, a few days later, here’s what I have!
I’m terribly happy with it so far. It’s the perfect weight and feel in the hands, and it’s easy to write in. The paper is lovely — at least, the graph paper is. (Haven’t written on the other yet.) I’ve tested it with fountain pens, gel pens, all kinds of pens, and it doesn’t bleed through. It’s very smooth to write on. I’m going to have to find more of the graph inserts!
I got a Midori blank paper insert for it and swapped it in for one of the graph paper ones, since I don’t need both at the same time. It fits perfectly.
I have a feeling I’m going to be carrying this one around for a long time. But now I’ve seen the blue limited-edition Midori notebook — uh oh. Must. use. self-control.