Last year my brother gave me a Lemome notebook as a gift. I had never heard of the brand before and, from what I can tell, it is only sold on Amazon. Of course, with any notebook that I’ve never tried before, I was curious as to how it would perform with fountain pens. The paper is surprisingly thick, but that doesn’t always mean fountain pen friendly. So, was this a good gift or is it just another notebook?
I have to admit that these notebooks make a great first impression. The hard, faux-leather cover feels really nice. The pages are surprisingly thick and the rounded corners and dashed page lines look good. These notebooks also have a lot of extras, which I’ll cover below. All this is to say that these notebooks make a great first impression.
- Pages: 180 (90 sheets)
- Paper Weight: 120gsm
- Binding: Stitch
- Page Style: Lined (7mm), Dot (5mm)
- Size: A5
Ink-handling characteristics (A table with the following properties can be found at the bottom of this post)
- Sheen: Average
- Shading: Average
- Bleeding: Low
- Ghosting: Very Low
- Feathering: Low
- Dry Time: Low
- Faux Leather Cover
- Pen Loop
- Elastic Closure
- Rear Pocket
- Ivory Pages
- Single Page Ribbon
As I mentioned in my first impressions, the cover of this notebook is really nice. It’s a hardcover that comes in multiple colors, including brown, grey, blue, black and teal, all of which are faux leather. There is also a cork option, but having never handled it I can’t speak to how it actually looks or feels. On the spine of the notebook there’s an elastic pen loop. The loop easily and snugly held a range of pen sizes, from a Lamy 2000 and Kaweco AL Sport to a Sailor Pro Gear and Pelikan M800. This notebook also has an elastic closure that has a fairly low profile on the back cover.
Inside the front cover you’ll find a small logo and a few lines for your contact information. Inside the back cover you’ll find an expandable pocket where you can keep random pieces of paper, tickets or other flat items. Heavy endpapers (similar to a manilla file folder) bookend the paper inside. All of the paper is a fairly yellowish cream color. The color is pretty similar to Midori MD paper, but the lines in this notebook are a light grey instead of blue. I actually really like the lines in this notebook. They are a light grey and are dashed, making them even lighter on the page. They are plenty easy to use, but I feel like when there is text on them they are very easy to ignore.
The item page mentions that this notebook lays flat, which it indeed does. This notebook has heavy paper, but I’m actually quite impressed at how well the pages lay flat. The stitch binding seems to be sturdy and I’d imagine it will hold up over time.
Now let’s talk paper. This paper weighs in at 120gsm, making it quite thick. I have to admit that I’m a sucker for thick paper like this. It feels so luxurious to handle. Still, it doesn’t mean much if it can’t stand up to fountain pens. Fortunately, the paper in this notebook does a great job at handling fountain pens! In addition to my standard paper tests, I’ve also been using this as a journal and it has withstood quite a variety of pens and inks with few issues. I did notice a bit of feathering and bleedthrough with my Montblanc 149 (which has a very wet nib) filled with J. Herbin Lie de Thé, but it has handled everything else admirably. Being so thick, the paper also shows almost zero ghosting, making it very easy to use both sides of a page.
This paper does show some sheen and shading, but not as much as many papers. Still, this is not a bad thing, as inks that may smudge on papers that show more sheen may not smudge here. I wrote a page with Yama-budo, which I’ve had smear when dry on Tomoe River paper, but on this paper it didn’t budge when I ran my fingers across it. This lower sheen also means faster dry times, which for many is a welcome tradeoff. I will say that it does show enough sheen and shading to keep things interesting.
I will also add that all of the features this notebook has makes it ideal for bullet journaling. It doesn’t have an index or page numbers, but these are something that you can easily add yourself. Compared to many other notebooks, this truly feels more like a journal. If you use your bullet journal for thoughts and memories as well as daily organization, I think this would be a great choice. Dare I say, I might even prefer this notebook to a Leuchtturm!
I was initially a little skeptical about this notebook when I first received it, simply because I’d never heard of it before. After using it for a while, I’m a big fan. I don’t have many hard-cover notebooks, and I still think that I prefer a soft cover, but this notebook, especially for the price, feels like a great choice for almost anyone in the market for something to write in. It handles a variety of inks and pens very well and, even if you come across a combination that does bleed a bit, the paper is so thick it won’t really affect what’s on the other side. The Lemome Notebook also has a load of features that work well for every day use or bullet journaling. If you get a chance, I suggest you grab one and give it a try.
If you’d like a bit more information about how I test papers and notebooks, I wrote an article about my paper rating system.
Please note: My testing and experience in this post only come from using one notebook. Unfortunately, paper quality can vary between notebooks of all brands, so please know that it’s possible your experience won’t perfectly match mine. Thanks for understanding.
Fountain Pen Love Overall Rating
Pros: Great value, good paper, inexpensive
Cons: For some, the cream paper and hardcover might be a turnoff
Value Rating: 3.71 Stars, Cost per A5 sheet: $0.14
Who this notebook is for: Anyone looking for an inexpensive, high-quality notebook.
Upgrade to this notebook from: Minimalism Art Notebook
Upgrade from this notebook to: Midori MD