Review – Taroko Breeze Notebook

Taroko Breeze Notebook with Tomoe River paper

Introduction

The Breeze notebook from Taroko is a fairly new addition to our range and one we were very excited to receive. We had an extensive choice of the more basic slimline Taroko books, but we were really in need of a more ‘serious’ book, one that could go head to head with the Moleskine, Leuchtturm and Rhodia notebooks that dominate.

When the Breeze was announced it seemed like Christmas had come early. So when my trusty Rhodia book ran out last week I grabbed a slightly damaged Breeze book as my daily book (well, the poor wee write-off needed a good home…). This is how I have got on a week in.

Style

The book scores well because although the cover is minimal, it does at least have a design on it which gives it a lift. The standard range of Taroko books look great but once out of the packet they are unmarked and somehow a bit lacking. The size is appealing – proper A5 and just about the right thickness. The black cover with its silver print is smart, a nice contrast to the usual notebook in this market. That said, it is a fairly understated notebook, nothing too ostentatious.

Score: 8/10

Features

The Breeze notebook has a few extras, not as many as some rival notebooks but with some nice little differences up its sleeve. The book comes with numbered pages and an index which makes life so much easier when it comes to organising your notes. No fumbling around looking for that page where you know you wrote something. It also has several ink swatch pages, a nice way to record which ink you are using or for testing out some inks and keeping a proper record. Now this will likely only appeal to an ink-pen user which leads on to its most obvious feature – the Tomoe River paper.

This Japanese marvel is incredibly thin – just 68gsm – yet handles ink better than almost any paper. This also means you can pack a lot more paper in for less bulk. 183 pages of notes to be precise.

The book does lack some notable add-ons though, such as a page marker, a closure strap or an inside pocket. It’s a shame as these are quite handy features.

As for the card cover, that really depends on what you want. If you want a hard cover book then it won’t work for you, but if you prefer a soft-cover book then this card cover has a nice flexible but stiff cover.

Score: 7/10

Taroko Breeze - Index to pages
Taroko Breeze - Index to pages
Taroko Breeze - Numbered pages
Taroko Breeze - Numbered pages
Taroko Breeze - Pages to record the inks you use
Taroko Breeze - Pages to record the inks you use

Usability

This is where the Breeze really comes into its own. The paper is a joy to write on, even if you are not using a fountain pen. It is so smooth and works well with a rollerball or even just a ballpoint pen. But with a fountain pen it stands out.

The dot paper suits me perfectly and they are spot on (pun intended!) and it is a really nice size and weight for a notebook. Sounds a silly thing to say but it works for me.

Score: 10/10

Value for money

At £19.95 it certainly isn’t cheap and there are cheaper alternatives from Rhodia and Leuchtturm. It really comes down to the paper as this is the notebook’s USP. If the paper tempts you then the book is worth the extra few quid, and if the paper leaves you cold then it isn’t likely to have you shelling out that bit extra. Personally I think it is worth it but will

Score: 8/10

Verdict

Overall it has served me well for the first week – it’s a pelasure to write in and that is half the fun, surely? If you just want a purely functional notebook then go seek out the cheapest, flimsiest book in a supermarket. Assuming you have come to us looking for that extra bit of quality then this is well worth considering.

A bit more pricey and lacking a few useful features, but with enough to compensate by way of the paper and the numbered pages.

Style
Features
Usability
Value-for-money

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