Thursday Review: MiquelRius Grid Notebook

MiquelRuis 300page Grid Notebook with Red vinyl cover

I bought this notebook 4 or 5 years ago while searching for a Ciak brand notebook. As a notebook snob and a bookbinder I find this book to be just MEH.

First it’s perfect bound- glue with no stitching. Eventually with hard use pages will fall out. It’s just a matter of when not if. Perfect binding is simply not sturdy enough for the kind of abuse I put my notebooks and journals through. I will say that I’ve been carting this notebook around for 2 or 3 months and it’s held up pretty well so far. Also due to the binding and thickness of the book, it will not open completely flat while writing, which is a nuisance.

The pages are 15 to 18 pound in weight and very thin. Almost every pen I own strike through (is visible on the reverse side) and 90% bleed through. This means I can only use one side of each sheet of paper. So that drops the 300 pages of the book down to 150 usable surfaces. So even if I wanted to brave the non-flat writing surfaces of the left side of the notebook, I could barely read what I wrote. Additionally some of the inks I own feather like mad on this paper. I’m talking about relatively well behaved inks like Diamine Chocolate Brown.

The paper is very smooth and has the best light pale blue grid I’ve ever seen. It’s what drew me to the brand in the first place. After looking at a dozen or so gridded notebooks, I fell in love with the pale blue of this grid. It’s pale enough to blend into the background and not interfere with the writing when you are referring back to your writing. The pen glides over it. It’s not as smooth as Rhodia or Claifontaine paper but its way better than Moleksine paper. Ink is better behaved on the right side of the MiquelRuis paper than moleskine paper. The paper definitely has a right and wrong side for fountain pen use. One side is smooth and the other has a little more tooth to it and grabs the tip of the pen ever so slightly.

The format of the book I purchased is great- at 6×8 inches I’m finding the page size perfect for writing and recording thoughts and sketches. The size is good for slipping into a book bag.The 300 pages is a tad on the heavy size for every day toting about but if it were the only notebook you were to carry it wouldn’t be bad. They come in 100 and 200 page counts as well.

Would I buy another one of these notebooks? Probably not. The bright vinyl cover is nice but doesn’t speak to me the way a leather cover does. The paper’s lovely pale blue grid is about the only thing I really like about this notebook. Using both sides of the page is important to me, using just one side seems very wasteful to me. I prefer a stitched notebook for durability. I have to mention that pale blue grid again; it’s why I keep reaching for this notebook. This would be a good gift idea for the vegan writter on your shopping list. They also offer a host of recycled vinyl options that I'd like to see.

I purchased mine about 5 years ago at Barnes and Noble. I notice that the brand is no longer listed on their website. When I purchased this particular note book it was the last one on the shelf. It cost $10. You can buy these notebooks at the miquelrius website here.

Pros:

  • 300 Pages
  • Sturdy Vinyl Covers
  • Cheap $10
  • Great pale blue grid
  • Mostly fountain pen friendly o n the right hand pages
  • Smooth paper is nice for writing

Cons:

  • 300 pages are heavy
  • Almost all my pens and inks exhibit strike through and bleed through
  • Not good for a wet nib
  • Can only write in it- sketching would result in horrible bleed
  • Forced to write lightly
  • Perfect bound- not very sturdy
  • Won’t lay flat when writing.

Some inks that did well on the paper:

Noodler’s Bulletproof Black, Eel Blue, Walnut, Beaver, Eternal Brown and anything BUT Herbin Bleu Nuit in an EF nib.

  • PJ

    Thanks, Les, for this review. Love the pale blue grid backgrounds but am really spoiled by books that open flat and paper that does not bleed through easily.
    I am ink-ignorant but I have a feeling that will change very soon. Getting intrigued by your posts speaking of inks…there is a new world out there for me to discover. Have only used what I think of as standard perm. black ink. Do you have a recommendation of what kind of ink for a newbie to begin playing with?
    BTW, bought one of your hand-made journals months ago and have been working in it (doing lots of stuff inspired by 21 Secrets). Yesterday was mild and I took it outside and prepared several background pages with Adirondack color wash spray dyes. Paper and Dye loved each other.

  • I grabbed this notebook for my roleplaying and for that purpose it’s met my needs. I usually write in pencil, though. The not laying flat is annoying, but not a dealbreaker for me. The low price allows me to just write whatever in it: I don’t fuss for as long over a blank page like I do with a Moleskine or the like.
    I favour the lighter grids over something like Rhodia gridded pads. It’s easier to see what I’ve written in the Miquelrius. Though the paper in Rhodia pads stands up to heavier ink. I don’t know too much about inks, but I used a very wet, very heavy Varsity disposable fountain pen on it (I was dying for a fountain pen and Staples doesn’t sell the real ones any more except for way too much money!) and while it took a while to dry, it didn’t bleed through. Rhodia makes the Webbie notebook (as opposed to most of their line which is top-bound pads), which is filled with 90g paper as of version 3.0.

  • The major reason I wont buy this again is becuase of the perfect binding. I hate glue bound books, HATE them. I understand that miquelrius makes this in a wire bound pad that I would like.
    Im going to do a post about inks for artists at some point. I have 2 favorite lines right now: Noodlers and Private Reserve, both made in the US and with decent price points, quite a value compared to art inks. They also have a TON of great colors.

  • but god I love the light blue line, so perfect!

  • Ill definitely be doing a few ink related posts, those will be coming up over the next few months.