Nanami Paper is an online website that specializes in fine Japanese stationery. They are famous for their Tomoe River paper notebooks and writing pads. The website is a treasure-trove of stationery facts, including a notebook buyer’s guide, a notebook value calculator, and pdfs for improving your letter writing. Even if you buy nothing the site is a fun place to spend time reading about notebooks and paper.
I first mentioned Nanami Paper in this post from Aug 2014. Since then I have heard great things about the Seven Seas Writer notebook. It’s a lined notebook, with 480 pages of Tomoe River paper. I’ve checked periodically and they have always been out of stock. But a month ago the notebook was in stock so I jumped at the chance to get one. And I bought a few accessories too.
I ordered the notebook plus 4 other items on April 22 and it was on my desk at work by May 1. Shipping was $18 US. The entire order came to just under $70 US.
The items were packaged very well in foam and kraft paper, and then within these kraft paper envelopes.
From left to right: The yellow Seven Seas Writer slipcase, with the notebook inside; a blue Hold-On pen loop; a clear plastic writing mat with grid; a brown vinyl notebook cover; and a clear plastic notebook cover.
The Seven Seas Writer comes in this slip case. The pink paper you can see peeking out is blotting paper.
The notebook, on the left, is bound with a simple heavy cardboard cover, in black. Nice and plain, but a cover is recommended.
The notebook is thread bound and so lays flat upon opening, with no stress to the spine. Gloriously flat!
This is the MF Faux Leather A5 Notebook Cover. It is more expensive than the Cheap Notebook Cover (which I will discuss shortly) but considerably less expensive than the Gfeller notebook cover, which is Kip Leather and wonderful, I’ve heard. I chose the MF because of the price: just under $20. It has a bookmark and looks pretty good. I also bought the Cheap Notebook Cover because of the price: $2.50.
Here is the MF cover open. I couldn’t help but think what a great piece to start a Fauxdori with. And the Seven Seas Notebook slips in beautifully.
And here is the filled MF cover. I quite like the double row of stitching. And of course the bookmark.
Here is the notebook inside the Cheap Notebook Cover (sorry for the glare). It’s fine too but let’s face it: the MF cover looks better. This Cheap cover fits standard A5 notebooks so I’m sure I will find a use for it, as I have a few of those (ahem).
I also bought the writing mat, which is exactly that: a mat upon which to write. You can slip it in between the pages of the notebook as they are super thin, one of the characteristics of Tomoe River paper. And when you are close to the bottom of the page you can use the mat to rest your wrist. The Nanami web site suggests using your smart phone to the same end if you don’t have a writing mat.
I have a thing for pen loops. I want every single one of my notebooks to have a pen loop. And this Hold-On Clever Pen Loop for Notebooks just might be the ticket. Too bad you can only buy 5 at a time. Seeing how great they work I should have bought more.
They are $3.60 US. And the website shows you how to make a “hack” for it, if you don’t want to get the sticky adhesive all over your notebook cover. A non-permanent solution, if you will. Luckily I had some Post-It Tabs handy and followed the instructions.
I stuck the tab on the inside of the back cover. I then stuck the Hold-On pen loop to the tab. To truly avoid sticky residue I only removed the backing from the pen loop to the width of the tab (got out the old craft knife). The sticky back of the pen loop is super sticky and will not come off the tab very easily. Whereas the tab is easily removable but not so easy as to fall off. Ingenious!
Here’s a quick ink test on the back page. Notice how sharp each example is. The paper is smooth like glass and there is no bleedthrough. There is a bit of a wait for drying time but that’s what the blotting paper is for.
There is definite show through but as my sister says, “I LIKE show through!” I realize some don’t and if you don’t just use one side of the paper.
I am thrilled with this new notebook. The service from David at Nanami was excellent and the products are superb. The feel of the Tome River paper is exquisite; smooth and buttery. There’s a reason it’s so popular with fountain pen enthusiasts. And if you want to try a sample David can help you out there too; he offers 6 sheets (3 white, 3 cream) of Tomoe River paper anywhere in the world for $3 and free shipping. Yes you read that right. You really should try it out because it is amazing.
No wonder there is a purchase limit of 5 for the Seven Seas notebooks. Get one while they last.