Top critical review
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Better than I expected
on 30 August 2016
(I purchased the red squared notebook, but I am writing my review here because I think more people are likely to read the review on this page.)
Rather stupidly, I decided to buy this Moleskine notebook BEFORE reading the reviews. I've only used one Moleskine product before - the pocket sketchbook - and I was impressed, so I was expecting this product to be good as well. I instantly felt regret over my purchase as I read all of the negative reviews about ink bleeding through the paper, the squared lines being too dark and the bindings falling apart after a month. It seems that the quality of Moleskine notebooks has deteriorated dramatically over the years. It was too late to cancel my order, however.
My Moleskine arrived today and I was surprised. It contains 240 squared pages. The size of the notebook is 13cm x 21cm, so a bit narrower than A5 size. Despite all the reviews, the lines are not too dark (photograph attached). I also tested out some of my pens and while there is ghosting (you can see the words when you turn the page), my pens did not bleed through the page. Don't get me wrong, the paper IS thin, but as long as you write lightly, and you don't use any permanent markers or heavy felt tip pens, then you should be fine, but if ghosting bothers you a lot then this isn't the notebook for you. I think the ghosting adds some character to the pages, and if you're filling up both sides of the sheet with words you probably won't notice it. Perhaps I received an older Moleskine notebook, rather than a newer one manufactured recently to have darker lines and thinner paper.
I've only had this notebook for a day so I can't comment on the binding but perhaps after a month or two I will edit this review and say how it's holding up.
Overall, I'd say this is an OK notebook for the price, but there are many journals out there with better paper quality (Piccadilly, Silvine, Rodia, Leuchtturm e.t.c.) If you are looking to purchase this book for bullet journaling uses, then I would probably recommend the Leuchtturm1917 instead, especially if you want to start an "aesthetic" arts and crafts bullet journal. The Leuchtturm1917 has 249 pages, and you can get the journal with lined/squared/dotted/plain paper. There are many more colours as well. The paper is thicker and more ink proof, and all of its pages are numbered in a small font. It also comes with a table of contents in the front, and some perforated pages in the back. The Leuchtturm1917 is more expensive though, at around £12, but if you can afford that then I would say get the Leuchtturm instead of the Moleskine.