Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Notebook Review: Life Pistachio A5


If you use fountain pens on a regular basis, you probably understand the huge challenge of finding suitable, fountain pen ink-friendly paper. When I shifted to full fountain pen use in 2008, the stationery market in the Philippines had a very limited selection of fountain pen-friendly paper brands to offer.

When Scribe Writing Essentials began offering fountain pen-friendly paper products, it was a joy to walk into their stores and see shelves filled with Midoris, Rhodias, TWSBIs, and just recently, LIFE and Tomoe River Paper. Scribe has kindly given me two samples of LIFE products to review, a soft-covered, ruled Noble Report in A4, and a ruled Pistachio notebook in A5, both with excellent, superior paper quality.

The LIFE Stationery Company was established in Tokyo in 1946. The company is dedicated to producing paper products of excellent quality, with all products done by hand. LIFE's stationery line features timeless, simple, and elegant designs, together with superior and excellent paper quality. The Notemaker Journal Blog has a beautiful feature on the story behind LIFE Stationery, if you want to read more about the company.

LIFE Pistachio notebook cover

The Pistachio is a sibling to LIFE's Vermillion notebooks, a simple, yet high quality notebook. Its light green cover has an old-school look, with a patterned border and spaces for information printed in bright green and dark red.

The Pistachio Notebook's pages with 7mm ruling in bright green.

LIFE's Pistachio notebook is available in three sizes: A5 (8.3 x 11.7 inches), B6 (4.9 x 6.9 inches), and A6 (4.1 x 5.8 inches). The A5 Pistachio is available with either ruled or grid inside pages, printed in bright green ink. The ruling is a bit wide for me at 7mm, while the grid is just right at 5mm. Each notebook has 32 sheets (64 pages) of stitched, rather than stapled, superior quality Japanese paper.

Pen and ink tests on Pistachio notebook. No feathering at all, and the green ruling is not bothersome at all.

This simple-looking notebook's most amazing feature is LIFE's high quality paper. It is smooth, and simply a joy to write on. It is also resistant to feathering and bleed through, which means I can write with my fountain pens (or any pens) on it. The paper is also acid-free, to preserve its contents for years to come.

Back of the test page. There is ghosting (show through), but there is absolutely no bleed through! 

See? No bleed through! Even if I wrote with my wettest writers (Pelikan BB and B), iron gall ink (Lamy Blue Black), and the notorious Noodler's Baystate Blue.


I recommend LIFE Pistachio notebooks to anyone who wants to experience writing on excellent quality paper. Aside from their excellent quality, LIFE notebooks are also reasonably priced.

LIFE Stationery products are available in the Philippines exclusively at Scribe Writing Essentials. The Pistachio A5 is sold at P185, and the A6 at P175. To get LIFE's paper products, visit any of Scribe's stores in Eastwood Mall, Shangrila Plaza Mall, Glorietta 5, SM Aura, and SM Megamall. Their 6th store has just been opened in SM City Cebu last month. For their complete location/address, contact numbers, and store hours, click here.

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