Rarely do so many loves of mine mesh together so perfectly as with the Monsieur Notebook collection. You want gloriously scented leather (what scent, you ask? Here’s the scent: leather), a great looking notebook and a splash of class to boot? It all comes in one neat little package thanks to these incredibly attractive writing books.
I happened upon this brand in my local Waterstones and assumed that they’d be incredibly mainstream (after all, it takes a good long while for a brand to permeate down to Plymouth) however a quick glance at their website revealed a quirky and innovative notebook brand that still doesn’t have as many stockists as I wish it did.
The leather writing books are available in A5 and A4 sizes and won my heart immediately by not requiring lines. I personally hate writing with lines and I don’t mind that many people seem to require lines but I just wish more notebook companies worked like Monsieur Notebook, allowing us all to write in harmony. You can even get dotted paper for those weirdos who like dotted grids, all writers are welcome here! You can choose from different kinds of writing paper as well, depending on whether you’re writing, sketching and even a paper that is especially for use with fountain pens. Add a selection of colours to this leathery mix and you have a range of writing pads that will suit anyone! Unfortunately, you can’t buy their notebooks off the website directly however they have a list of linked stockists that can fill that leather notebook shaped hole in your life.
The notebooks are what I would class as “pricy” when looking at them objectively. Even a smaller notebook is £12 and that’s quite a lot of money for me to spend on a writing book (which, in itself, is saying something as I’m a complete notebook addict). That said, the notebook does come with genuine leather and I’ve noticed that it’s proving to be incredibly robust. Even after several months use the binding hasn’t become floppy, the book still holds firm and the band that holds my book closed hasn’t lost strength (this happened to me with a previous notebook and turned me against the design for some time).
Monsieur Notebook also offers a lot to brands and businesses, meaning that you can get a bulk set of notebooks embossed with your chosen design. I wish this were available for personal use but I suppose they’d need to charge a great deal more for their books in order to do that! Fortunately, Monsieur Notebook are currently offering you the chance to create your own distinctive design to be added to their leather notebook with their on-site contest. The winning design will be given pride of place on a leather notebook and there’s still time to submit your own designs if you have a nifty idea for fellow writing obsessives. I’ve been tempted to include my Keepin’ it Fictional poster, any thoughts?
Are there any bad points? The standard paper is a little shiny, a little thin and I’m someone who’s hand drags a little across the paper when they write so this can result in annoying smudges. The binding is also firm, which is only a bad point when you start struggling to hold the book open wide enough to make proper use of the margins (I’m a tab obsessive about this sometimes). You also might notice from my images that my copy has already accumulated a range of scuffs and marks, though I can honestly say that’s more about how awful a notebook owner I am rather than anything about the notebook itself. Aside from these niggles however this is a notebook brand that I will be revisiting a few times in the months to come and have already thoroughly enjoyed using. The paper is great for biros, gel pens and thick enough for fine line pens to be used without rendering the other side unusable and splodgy.
Here are a few images of my red, blank leather notebook and a smattering of the eager projects already contained within.
I’ll leave you with this kinda adorable video that Monsieur Notebook has to promote themselves. I feel more than a little ashamed that the first thing I couldn’t help thinking was “Ah yes, incredibly fake gaming….”. It makes me giggle that actors still can’t seem to “act out” what gaming actually looks like. Perhaps I’m being overly picky, it’s still a cute vid!