Flexbooks

We were lucky enough to receive engraved Flexbook notebooks from one of our suppliers for Christmas last year. I’ve been using mine as a music practice log/journal and really liking it (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Photo of my Flexbook notebook, showing the soft leatherette cover, embossing and elastic band closure.

Since we have a number of Flexbooks for sale in our webshop, and they’re a little unusual and also a bit more expensive than your typical basic notebook, I thought it might be good to review mine for anyone interested in buying them.

Flexbooks are made in Greece by “The Writing Fields” company, using an innovative patented bookbinding method that results in a flexible and durable book.

So, on to my review of my particular Flexbook…

First, the cover is nice and soft but still sturdy, and the elastic strap is helpful to hold it closed nicely. It’s nice to hold (which I think is important…there’s something satisfying about a well made book in your hand isn’t there? Or is that just me…).

Second, it opens flat. This is the main feature of the Flexbook, as the name suggests – and they really, really DO lay flat without affecting the pages or spine negatively. You can write on the whole page, you don’t lose space near the spine. You can also actually lay the book flat for scanning or photocopying!

Figure 2: Photo of my Flexbook lying open, nice and flat.

Third, the paper is sturdy – I’ve been using a Pilot gel pen (fine 0.7 mm tip) and a Pilot fountain pen to write in mine, and you can see it a little through the wrong side of the page so I’m only writing on one side as I’m a little fussy (Figure 3). I doubt that ballpoint pen writing would show through at all, as less ink flows out and it is faster drying than gel ink, making thinner, lighter lines.

Figure 3: Photo of a written journal entry Flexbook using gel pen – writing is also visible on the back of the other page.

I’ve seen them reviewed positively by fountain pen users and indeed, my fountain pen didn’t bleed through the page any more than the gel pens (actually, it’s less obvious!). If you’re intending to use Flexbooks with a fountain pen you might want to go for one of the ones with 85 gram paper or more, rather than the Smartbooks with 70 gram paper – if you’ve used one of the Smartbooks with gel or fountain pens please let us know how you got on!

There are a few different styles – they all have rounded corners and are priced around $30-40 for the Adventure/Visions/Sketchbooks/Ecosmiles or $14-18 for the Smartbooks. Here’s a brief summary of the different kinds we have in stock at the moment:

Adventure

  • durable, fine textured leatherette cover
  • inner paper pocket
  • elastic band closure
  • large (17 x 24 cm) or medium (13 x 21 cm)
  • ruled or dotted pages
  • various colours
  • 85 gram paper

Smartbook

  • large, medium or pocket (9 x 14 cm) size
  • ruled pages
  • very colourful covers
  • 70 gram paper
  • no elastic band closure

Visions

  • art paper cover
  • elastic band closure
  • medium or pocket size
  • ruled
  • 85 gram paper

Ecosmiles

  • eco-friendly line of notebooks, made exclusively from natural resources/upcycled agricultural residue
  • elastic band closure
  • medium size ruled pages
  • 100 gram paper

Sketchbook

  • blank pages
  • elastic band closure
  • large A4 (22 x 31 cm) or┬ámedium
  • 170 gram paper

So, plenty of options! They come with a little brochure about the Flexbook story and a bookmark too. If you’ve tried these, we’d love to hear your thoughts on them.

Anna Moore has written 32 articles

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