Manuscript Notebook Review

Manuscript are an American notebook company. They sent me a set of their notebooks to review. These are my honest opinions based on using one of each size for several weeks.

Pocket notebooks

Size: 5.5″ x 3.5″
Price: $11 for three
Pages: 64
Cover: textured cardboard
Paper: off-white
Ruling: blank
Binding: sewn/thread

Large notebooks

Size: 8.3″ x 5.5″ (A5)
Price: $11 for one
Pages: 86
Cover: textured cardboard
Paper: off-white
Ruling: blank
Binding: sewn/thread

The most obvious distinguishing feature of Manuscript notebooks are the covers. They’re reproductions of the covers of classic books. They’re printed on slightly textured card, which feels great to the touch. The quality is high and they look beautiful.

The outside back cover features a quote from the book.

The inside front cover is laid out for a table of contents. Because the cover is coated, you’ll need to stick to a ballpoint for writing here, which is a little frustrating. It’s a little strange to have a table of contents without the pages being numbered but I suppose it’s no great hardship to number them yourself, should you so wish, and it gives you the flexibility to use your own system (or just not bother at all).

Both sizes of notebook have sewn binding which gives me confidence in them holding together even if they’re thrown about or stuffed into a back pocket. The binding is neat and tidy.

One of the pocket notebooks I was sent had an issue with several of the pages being cut to the wrong size. None of the other notebooks had this problem.

The paper is smooth and a slightly creamy white. It’s thin so you there’s some show-through but nevertheless I found I could use both sides of the page without any difficulty.

There’s only the barest hint of feathering with the wettest of pens and only one pinprick of ink bled through. All in all this paper is fountain pen friendly and a pleasure to write on.

Manuscript notebooks are excellent. They look lovely, they’re made well (as long as the page-cutting issue isn’t common), they paper is great to write on and they’re reasonably priced.

Pros

Beautiful covers
Good paper quality
Reasonably priced
Sewn binding

Cons

Issue with the page size in one of the notebooks
Table of contents not as useful as it could be

3 Comments

  1. Hi Ian! Interesting review – the ones I have are the complete opposite. Not even remotely fountain pen friendly. I asked them about it and they said they ended up changing the paper because fountain pen friendliness was not a feature many people seemed to want. (That is madness, obviously!!) Did you recently acquire yours? Just trying to figure out if mine are the weird ones 😀

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