I don’t know what you’ve been up to, but I’ve been dealing with my pandemic stress this academic year by taking long walks or runs while listening to happy podcasts about pens, paper, and art. That sounds very healthy, right? I’ve also been dealing with it by buying an excessive number of Pelikans. This was brought home to me last night when my dad saw my open Nock Brasstown (thank you, Kickstarter) and commented that I “seemed a bit obsessed.” Seeming to know it had sounded a bit judge-y, he followed this up saying, “but it’s not like you’re buying drugs.” No, but part of me wonders if that would be cheaper. I agreed and didn’t tell him not even all of my currently inked pens are in that case.
What I’ve also done lately is experiment with doing some of my writing on Rhodia paper in addition to using my Leuchtturm 1917 journals. Why, when there’s so much fantastic fountain-pen-friendly paper, did I pick Rhodia? Access and their orange covers. The orange covers of other Rhodia products called to me from across the aisle at the local Dick Blick’s art store, where I manage to shop in person on the regular despite in no way making art or being an artist. I’ve bought a number of their pads in different sizes, with both grid and dot paper. Since we’re not allowed to use our campus offices, I’m working entirely at home. This has meant using additional pads has made sense. All this is a long way to say that I now get why many fountain pen people rave about the pleasure of writing on smoother, higher quality papers. At the same time, some of my most recent Pelikans have had nibs broader than extra fine. Writing with them on the smoother, whiter paper and seeing the ink colors more vividly has been a pleasure.
All this is a long introduction to a post that’s supposed to be about this cool product I’ve found. The short version is that a lot of my writing has been Rhodia-centric lately. I began looking online for Rhodia products beyond those carried at Blick. What I found was this delightful square notebook named the Reverse Book. These notebooks are 21×21 centimeters, are spiral bound, and have eighty-eight sheets of paper. The squareness means the spirals work equally well oriented at the top or at the left (or right if you’re left-handed). Because they have graph or dotted grid paper (both are available with black or orange covers), there are no margins. Because they’re spiral bound, pages are easy to remove, something I didn’t even realize was missing from my writing life. In addition to the spirals, each page is also perforated so they can be pulled out without the sheet having a raggedy edge.
Every notebook that comes into my life needs a purpose these days because I’m trying not to add to my massive stash of notebooks and journals. So these Rhodia Reverse Books already have jobs. One of the two I’m using right now to write the first draft of this blog post. It will be where I try and write down blog ideas and work on drafts of posts. I’ve been trying to do that in my bullet journal. Still, even with my reasonably careful indexing, ideas have been getting lost, leaving me unable to figure out what I was planning when I finally have time to write.
In the other one, I’ve started a log for my pens. I’m embarrassed to admit I don’t know how many pens I have right now, what I’ve purchased, and what I’ve given away. Beyond the eight (which is way too many) currently inked, my own collection is a mystery to me. So I’m giving each pen its own sheet (both sides of the page), recording dates and inks when they’re in use. Doing this is part of my plan to let some of the pens I have that I’m not using go. I recently did this with a lovely orange Sailor Tequilla Sunrise that I tracked down and purchased before realizing that I don’t like using pens with cartridges or converters.
This post isn’t really a review. I don’t feel I know enough about how fountain pens write on different papers to say whether these notebooks are exceptional. I know I’ve been using them and they’ve been good for me. I suppose these are user notes on the product. If any of these things appeal to you, Rhodia papers can be found in a number of places online and in person. If you’re in the United States and looking to help a small retailer, I recommend ordering from Two Hands Paper, a small bookshop and bindery in Colorado. The gridded Rhodia pads are $11 there and they have free shipping if you spend $75.
There are no affiliate links in this or any post on Chicana Writes. All products in this post were purchased by me. The flowers are from my dad’s garden.