Rhodia Webnotebook: Feed Your Geek!

I am becoming a paper and pen geek. There, I said it. And having said it, the road to recovery begins…. OK, maybe not. The issue here is that I like fountain pens, and becoming a fountain pen geek can easily lead to becoming a paper geek. Or a paper and notebook geek. Writing with a fountain pen is somehow fulfilling to me. It requires a tiny bit more effort, but that somehow makes me think harder about what I intend to write, which then leads to being careful about how I write it. And if I am going to put that much thought and effort into my writing then I expect it to look good on paper, which leads to a need for better paper.

I feel the need… the need for… a Rhodia Webnotebook! I made it over to Van Ness Pen Shop yesterday to pick up some ink, and while there I spied a Rhodia black and orange display in the front corner of the shop. They had a good selection of flip pads, wire-bound notebooks, and hard bound notebooks. Since I’m already a Moleskine owner, the Web Notebook looked familiar, so I picked one up. They come in two colors: black, or orange, so I looked at both and chose the brighter version. It has the elastic strap just like the Moleskine, a ribbon bookmark, and the creamiest, most-perfect paper I have ever written on! The paper is a nice off-white, lined with grey lines, and the cover feels sort of leather-like with a smaller pebbled feel. It also has a pocket inside the back cover (very Moleskine, again!), and comes in a smaller A5 and a larger A6 size, too. It also comes with either a dot grid, or blank pages.

The real joy of a Rhodia webbie, though, is in the writing. The paper is an absolute joy to write on. The paper finish is wonderful (at least for a paper geek!), and ink lays down nicely, with a smooth, even feel, and dries quickly. This is some of the most fountain pen friendly paper you can find. Even with the cheapest of fountain pens with the roughest of nibs, a smoothness is achieved that is just hard to believe. I started writing with a new pen, a Rotring Esprit Telescoping fountain pen (yup, I’m a geek!) that is compact with just enough heft. The ink lays down well with almost zero spidering. Being a guitar player, I’m thinking to myself “It feels like buttah!” (yeah, all my best guitars feel like butter). So I switched over to the cheap Yafa fountain pen with the nondescript steel medium-sized nib, and Wow! I then switched over to a nicer Waterman Phileas with a fine tip…Wow!

One or two complaints (because nothing in life is truly perfect): it’s a book. With blank paper in it. What do you do with the paper after you write on it? No way am I going to tear a page out of this book; that would look awful. Next issue: when you are writing in it, you are writing in a book… and it tries to close on you. The paper is awesome, and even though the book looks very nice it’s a bit of a pain to write in a book. The fix? Buy just the paper, which is possible. The paper is called Clairefontaine, which is available in several different sizes and formats: pads or loose. I’m planning to order some soon; I’ll try to post some info when I try it out.

Here’s a pic of the Webbie and the Rotring. It’s sort of like porn for paper and pen geeks!
Rhodia Webbie and Rotring Esprit


About johnmcgeeblog

Husband, father, IT manager, traveler, guitarist, hackintosher, writer...? Blogging can be a coping mechanism, a mentoring tool... what is it to you?
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