The Leuchtturm 1917 pocket notebook is the notebook that the Moleskine thinks it is. Or it’s the notebook I think the Moleskine should be. When you think “I want a small, black, affordable notebook with decent paper from a company with a relatively long history,” you should be thinking of the Leuchtturm 1917. The company was founded in 1917 (hence the numbers in the name), and puts out an inexpensive yet satisfactory product.
Before we get to the extras, let’s do a rundown of the standard features. Paper:
Now, this is no Clairefontaine paper, but it can handle a decent range of fountain pens without making a mess. There is some feathering, but no fuzzing as far as I can tell.
The paper itself is fairly smooth, but thin. Bleedthrough wasn’t a problem except for the heaviest, wettest pens (like the Pelikan Griffix, the Stabilo, and the A. G. Spalding with the Rotring Turquoise ink). What might be a problem for some of you is the shadowing—with paper this thin, it’s inevitable.
As long as the ink doesn’t bleed through, I don’t have a problem with it, but it’s something to keep in mind.
The bonuses to this notebook (aside from having usable paper AND being available in dot grid): numbered pages (useful but subtle), archival stickers (two for the spine, in case you mess one up, and two for the cover, one lined and one blank), and a table of contents.
The table of contents is a fantastic addition. I have a lot of notebooks full of various ideas, bits of story, details, what have you, and NO idea where those things are written down; at best, I might know which of the dozens of notebooks it might be written in. Provided I make use of the table of contents, this will make my life a lot easier.
I got my first Leuchtturm1917 notebook from Amazon because I’m lazy, they have free shipping, and the notebook is currently on sale for $9.62. However, if anyone knows of any cool stationery/pen sellers/distributors who carry the Leuchtturm, let me know and I’ll link to them too. I’d much prefer to support the cool people.