Maruman Mnemosyne Notebook Review omas paragon fountain pen

Maruman Mnemosyne Notebook Review

John BosleyReviews 18 Comments

It’s always nice when there’s something a little different about a notebook. The name is a little unusual, so it only makes sense the Maruman Mnemosyne notebooks are a little unusual as well. Mnemosyne is the Greek goddess of memory, so I suppose these notebooks should help you to remember things. What makes these notebooks unusual? They have a number of available page layouts, none of which are your standard lined, blank or grid patterns. In this review I’ll be looking at a few of the more standard layouts, but you’ll see that they’re still not what you’ll typically find in a notebook.

First Impressions

My first impressions when I first looked through the variety of different Mnemosyne notebooks was that they didn’t have anything normal. All of the notebooks or notepads have some sort of header or sidebar or strange page layout. None are just lined or blank. I decided to grab the most ordinary ones I could find, the 183, which is a blank, spiral-bound notebook and the 188, a gridded notepad. Each is very attractive, with a black cover and the name and model in gold. The spiral-bound notebook has a semi-gloss black plastic cover, while the notepad has a flat black paper cover. The paper appears to be fairly white, but isn’t what I’d call a bright white. The paper feels nice and smooth, so I’m excited to see how it handles fountain pens.

Maruman Mnemosyne Notebook Review cover

Mnemosyne notebooks and notepads have simple and attractive covers.

The Details

Here are some of the general details for Mnemosyne notebooks:

  • Pages: 70-80 (35-40 sheets)
  • Paper Weight: 80gsm
  • Binding: Staple, Spiral
  • Page Style: Lined (7mm), Grid (5mm), Blank
  • Size: A4, A5, A6, B5, B6

Ink-handling characteristics (A table with the following properties can be found at the bottom of this post)

  • Sheen: Medium
  • Shading: High
  • Bleeding: Very Low
  • Ghosting: Low
  • Feathering: Very Low
  • Dry Time: High

Other features

  • Many different page layouts
  • Micro-perforated sheets
  • Hard backing board
Maruman Mnemosyne Notebook Review staple

The Mnemosyne 188 notepad has a stapled cover.

Actual Use

Mnemosyne notebooks and notepads are simple yet functional. The spiral binding works great and does not snag, while the stapled top of the notepad allows the cover to easily fold back. Both have a fairly rigid cardboard backer, which makes writing without a surface underneath possible. Inside the front cover of each notebook there is a removable bright yellow sheet with some cute drawings and text in Japanese that describes its features. Unfortunately, the yellow sheet is not meant to function as blotter paper like in some other notepads like Life Bank Paper.

Maruman Mnemosyne Notebook Review yellow sheet

Inside each Mnemosyne notebook you’ll find a bright yellow sheet like this one.

The paper is very nice and scored very well in my tests, but writing on Mnemosyne paper is not extremely memorable. I think it has some sort of coating on it that allows it to handle ink very well, but at the expense of a luxurious writing experience. In fact, it almost feels a little dry to write on. Whereas other paper brands like Life, Midori and Clairefontaine have a unique feel that makes writing exciting, Mnemosyne just gets the job done without any bells or whistles.

Maruman Mnemosyne Notebook Review layout

Here is the layout of the 188. Each notebook has something similar.

With that being said, it is an extremely well-performing paper. Ghosting is low, which means writing on both sides of a sheet shouldn’t be a problem. One thing to note… on the notepad, the grid only appears on the front of each sheet. The back is completely blank. Bleeding is also low, but a few very heavy applications of ink did bleed through a bit (but not enough to bother me). I observed no feathering in my writing tests.

Maruman Mnemosyne Notebook Review shading

Maruman Mnemosyne paper test: front

Maruman Mnemosyne Notebook Review ghosting

Maruman Mnemosyne paper test: back


Testing out the Maruman Mnemosyne notebooks and notepad was a little anticlimactic. While it is nice paper, it’s not very exciting to write on (for me, at least). It does perform very well, though. There are a number of different page layouts, notebook formats and sizes available, so if you’re looking for something a little different a Mnemosyne notebook might be a good option for you.

Maruman Mnemosyne Notebook Review

The name might be a mouth-full, but it is distinctive.

If you’d like a bit more information about how I test papers and notebooks, I wrote an article about my paper rating system.

Interested in trying this paper before buying a notebook? Head over to my shop and pick up a paper sample pack.

Maruman Mnemosyne Notebook Review
  • Sheen (higher is better)
  • Shading (higher is better)
  • Bleeding (higher is better)
  • Ghosting (higher is better)
  • Feathering (higher is better)
  • Dry Time (higher is better)

Fountain Pen Love Overall Rating

Pros: Many different layouts, great all-around paper
Cons: Unexciting to write on, no “normal” page layouts
Value Rating: 3.71 Stars, Cost per A5 sheet: $0.11
Who this notebook is for: Anyone who wants solid paper with a variety of notebook options
Upgrade to this notebook from: Black n’ Red Notebook
Upgrade from this notebook to: Logical Prime Notebook

Comments 18

  1. I have used most of the standard papers us Fountain pen writers use & I find this paper to be exceptional. I enjoy the feel of my nibs on this paper. At times I find Rhodia & Clalirefontaine too smooth. I enjoy the feedback on this paper. And it handles all ink wonderfully. Mystified by your review.

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      I don’t think that we’re in disagreement. It’s great paper that handles ink really well… I just didn’t love writing on it. As far as numbers go it’s some of the best you can buy, but personally there are just other papers I’d rather use.

  2. One of my favourite papers for sheening and shading… I even bought a small pad which I write my shopping lists on, it’s great to have sheening and shading on a shopping list,

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  3. I was curious to know what kind of pen is in the photo for the review? I like the Grecian scrollwork and can’t tell what kind it is.

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  4. What’s the problem? Did they not pay for your review like Clairfontaine? Maruman Mnemosyne Is exceptional and much more cost effective.

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      What exactly are you saying, Apollo? Do you not trust my reviews? Did you even read this one? I specifically say it is nice paper. It has a great rating. For me, it’s not exciting to write on. If you’ve got a problem with my opinion, just say so instead of implying my reviews are biased, which they most definitely are not.

      1. Not sure how anyone could think you would be biased by compensation on a small blog by a paper-lover, I mean, there’s this thing called integrity and passion for good product

  5. I’ve been having a hard time with feathering of my B-BB/Italic/juicy nibs on my Mnemosyne notebook with feathering! It’s super weird I very much did not expect to see any when I finally got the notebook, especially after loving the Mnemosyne I got from your paper sample pack. Really happy to have read your “what to do when TR Paper goes away” piece, I need to prepare myself emotionally for that since Sheen is my favorite property. Cosimo air light is what I’m thinking, since I definitely can’t afford Graphilo!

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      How strange that you’re getting feathering on Mnemosyne. I do wonder about different paper batches and if some perform differently than others. That’s one of my biggest fears when doing reviews… what if the paper I test is different from what other people experience?

      Sheen is such a fun part of writing, finding good papers that really show it off is really important. Fortunately, there are quite a few good papers out there that show a lot of sheen. Maybe not TR levels, but still quite a bit. Cosmo Air Light is an excellent choice!

  6. Wow that’s such a crazy thing to say to an indie fountain pen geek reviewing what he loves, and is the best in the business at doing. Sucks to see such negativity in a place like this that should be an oasis.

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      1. This is hilarious, I came back to this review 6 months later and forgot that I’d already said how bizarre it was for someone to come at you like that, haha!

  7. I wonder how much difference there is in the paper quality between Mnemosyne’s notebooks. I picked up the 195, a spiral bound A5 with ruled paper and I get quite a bit of bleed through, which is disappointing as I do find the writing experience pleasant otherwise. I just added the 188 to my cart; I’ll try to remember to update this once it arrives if I notice any difference!

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      That’s really strange, Brandi. The paper shouldn’t differ between notebook styles. I have noticed recently that the paper is harder to tear out when I make my sample packs, but must admit that I haven’t actually used it since noticing that change. I wonder if something has changed with their paper?

  8. Was struggling with this paper, and read this review, it does write dry. My go to paper is Rhodia and comparatively this writes dry. Thank you for co forming my struggle.

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