I have long been a fan of Midori paper. I’ve used it for journaling, writing letters and for doodling and have always enjoyed writing on it. This notebook is no different. Its design is very clean and simple and it handles fountain pen ink very well. You should note, though, that if you’re used to using other notebooks a Midori notebook might seem a little different to you when you first see it.
When you first remove the Midori MD notebook from its packaging, the first thing that strikes you is the exposed spine of the notebook. Midori leaves the spine of the notebook exposed, which gives it a minimalist and slightly unfinished look. Once you get used to it you’ll barely notice it, but it can be a little surprising at first. Once you move past that, you’ll notice some of the other things that came with the notebook, specifically the paraffin paper cover and the label stickers. The notebook has a very clean feel with its all-white design.
Let’s take a look at the Midori MD notebook and see what it’s all about:
- Pages: 176 (88 sheets)
- Paper Weight: 68gsm?
- Binding: Stitch
- Page Style: Lined (7mm), Grid (5mm), Blank
- Size: A4, A5, A6, B6
Ink-handling characteristics (A table with the following properties can be found at the bottom of this post)
- Sheen: High
- Shading: Medium
- Bleeding: Very Low
- Ghosting: Medium
- Feathering: Very Low
- Dry Time: Medium
- Page marker
- Label stickers
- Cream paper
- Paraffin paper cover
While a Midori MD notebook might look simple, it is full of features. Whereas many notebooks start with the first page as soon as you open the cover, the Midori MD has a cover page where you can write your contact info, notebook title or anything else that you’d like. You can also use the included sticker if you prefer instead of writing directly on the cover page.
Each notebook has a stitch binding which allows it to lay flat while in use. In my experience, this actually works and the notebook will immediately lay flat with little to no “encouragement”. This is partly due to the fact that there isn’t really a cover and also due to the higher number of small signatures. It also has a single ribbon page marker, which is helpful for keeping track of your progress in the notebook. I mentioned that the notebook comes with a thin paraffin cover. You can choose to keep this on the notebook or remove it. Because the cover is an ivory-colored card stock, it will probably show dirt and wear more than other notebooks, so having an included option for cover protection is a nice feature. Since the cover is basically a blank slate, you might also choose to decorate it with drawings or stickers.
Writing on this paper is a wonderful experience. As Midori describes it, their paper “has the perfect balance between smoothness and a little resistance, ensuring comfort and making writing a pleasure.” For anyone who enjoys a little feedback while they write, this paper may very well become a favorite. The grid pattern is printed on this paper in a light blue-green color. It doesn’t really interfere with writing or look intrusive, mainly because of the open box design (it is not a true grid, as the vertical lines don’t connect with each horizontal line above).
As for feathering or bleeding, this paper is excellent and I haven’t experienced any of either one so far. While it has a medium amount of ghosting, writing on both sides of a page should not be a problem for most people.
This paper also shows a good amount of shading and sheen, which is very surprising for how much quicker inks dry on it compared to other papers with similar amounts of sheen. All of the different inks I have used with it look very good. The cream color of the paper is light enough that it does not drastically change the appearance of the ink.
Midori MD notebooks are very fountain pen friendly and are not very difficult to find. While they don’t show as much sheen as Tomoe River paper, they do show as much as many other high-sheen paper options. Midori MD notebooks are probably one of the most well-rounded options available today thanks to their features, great ink-handling capabilities and decent dry times. Regardless of your needs, you’ll have a hard time finding a better notebook than a Midori MD.
If you’d like a bit more information about how I test papers and notebooks, I wrote an article about my paper rating system.
Midori MD Notebook Review
Fountain Pen Love Overall Rating
Pros: Minimalist design, wonderful paper with great sheen and decent dry times
Cons: Design may not appeal to everyone, no color options
Value Rating: 3.71 Stars, Cost per A5 sheet: $0.11
Who this notebook is for: Anyone looking for a well-rounded notebook that will show off their inks
Upgrade to this notebook from: Leuchtturm1917 Softcover notebook
Upgrade from this notebook to: Graphilo notebook