Monday, August 16, 2010

Rush Notebook by Letts of London

Within the realm of stationery and stationers there are certain names that can send me into a blissful reverie, imagining their founding when candelabras and gas lighting, horse-drawn cabs, coal engines and steamship were the order of the day: Crane's Stationery, Smythson of Bond Street, the recession-victim Mrs. John L. Strong formerly of Madison Avenue, and Lett's of London.

Lett's was founded in 1796 by John Lett, a stationer who set up shot within the confine's of London's Royal Exchange (one of the most pressing needs for paper was within the financial sector). Their commercial and personal journals and notebooks are of exceptional quality and style.

One particularly attractive Letts notebook is the Rush Notebook, a pocket size A6 (5 7/8" by 4 1/8") 100% recyclable paper notebook with a soft-bound cover that has an incredible basket-weave textured imprint. The paper itself has a slightly grayish tinge, and looks like the handmade paper you'd see at Kate's Paperie with the specks of color in it. The lines are a pale green, coordinated to match the paper, all of which gives this little notebook a pleasing appearance and design.

There are four covers available: grass, sun, earth, and sand, and all are beautiful. So much so that I was grateful that Paper Presentation, where I found these, only had Sun and Sand available for purchase! That was really the draw for me: the basket weave texture on the cover is beautiful, and the colors they chose for their nature tones are also my favorites. I like the large "Notes" script and the recycle icon as well, not too obvious or large to be obtrusive.

The paper is smooth and soft, not what I would expect from recycled. And it is somewhat fountain pen friendly--the Diamine Poppy Red ink didn't bleed through the paper, although the Noodler's V-Mail GI Green did show through a little. In the above left pic you can see my two fountain pen scribbles, and they are matched in the right pic--the GI Green doesn't bleed through all that much, but it is noticeable. Not as bad as a Sharpie I would imagine, but enough to make me re-think my choices and use lighter inks.

The Rush Notebook is a soft-bound cover, and after some pressing it did lay almost flat (something I've really noticed once I tried Rhodia's new webbie). With 160 pages you've got a lot of paper to write on, so if you're a ballpoint, gel ink, or pencil person who likes to write a lot of notes I'd say this is a good choice of journal for you.