If you are trying to get away from reviewing anything online, or maybe you need to take some notes for your online review the LE Gather is a perfect option.
The packaging for Gather is light olive colored with and an assortment of illustrations scattered across its surface. These are rendered in traditional Baron Fig white and gray. Between these items are stars printed in thick glossy ink, they remind me of thick embossing powdered rubber stamps. (Only a few of you will get that reference.) Like all their other products the packaging is eminently giftable, maybe to yourself maybe to someone else.
Cracking this box open reveals a gorgeous olive green cloth cover debossed with icons that look suspiciously close to those you might find on your phone. The bookmark is a slightly darker shade of olive while the elastic closure is dark gray. Opening the book reveals olive end sheets with lighter green stars and some of the icons scattered about the page. Further, into the book, you find a quick start reference and a key to the icons.
The set up of the review page is very simple, along the edge is a bar with all the icons, you circle of check off what you are reviewing, then at the top of the page is a pale green bar to write the name of what you are reviewing. Then there are lines to write the body of your review, a 5-star rating guide, then high and low points. In the far back of the journal are a few pages about each item and a brief almost how-to on reviewing those items.
I tested my Gather with a few pencils and pens. I notice that the paper feels less toothy than other iterations of the Confidant. I’m a fan of the toothy paper, but this doesn’t eat a graphite pencil to a nub in short order. Also, my fountain pen felt great on the page but the ink did seem to spread wider than my nib size. There was no feathering or bleed through but it should be noted that my EF looked a bit like an F. I love BF’s cream-colored paper and the pale green accents on this color are subtle but lovely.
My low points on this journal are that they spend 11 pages explaining how to review each item represented by an icon. This would have been a perfect Confidant to introduce a pocket- to collect ticket stubs and other ephemera gathered as you gather your reviews. The top 10 lists in the back seem a bit redundant, but also like they could be useful for some folks. An index might be helpful in finding where particular items have been reviewed.
The high points are definitely the color and design. Like all Baron Fig products, this is well designed and work really well for their intended purposes. It also assists in giving something some thoughtful inspection, examining why you might like something or dislike it, without snap judgment. As someone who reviews all the things that comes into her orbit (from restaurants to books to pens and paper) this is a fun way to focus my thoughts and not nitpick every tiny thing with the thing I’m reviewing. I do think this is far too small a format for books, but that’s just me.
Overall, this is a great starter review journal for someone you know that likes to think deeply about all their things, or if you want to start out reviewing and don’t want to use an online service- this is a great tool.