When I walked into the Kinokuniya store near my office in NYC a few weeks ago, I wasn’t expecting to pick up a new notebook, but when I came across the Apica Premium C.D. Notebook that changed almost immediately. Although I grabbed this from Kinokuniya in person, you can also find them via Amazon and via JetPens. For whatever reason the Black version is about $1.00 cheaper than the blue on Amazon.
When I was walking through the store, the thing that caught my attention about the Apica Premium CD Notebook was the shiny silver embossed lettering on the blue cardboard cover. Against the dark navy blue background, it really jumped out along with the intricate design elements surrounding the actual text. I took a closer look to see that the text read “Choose the paper like you would a good pen.” and thought to myself that this was good advice, and if this notebook is claiming to be as good as a good pen, I better check it out. With that said, I quickly scooped up this Apica notebook and flipped it open to get a look at the paper inside. Visually the paper looked great, its a slight ivory color with very soft grey rulings spaced at 7mm. It wasn’t until I actually touched the paper though that I knew I was buying this notebook.
The thing that made the purchase of the Apica Premium CD Notebook a no brainer was the feel of the paper. Once I cracked the notebook open and ran my finger across the paper I was shocked by how incredibly smooth it was. I’ve felt smooth paper in notebooks before, but the paper in this Apica Premium CD Notebook is in a league of its own when it comes to smoothness. You will also note from the picture above that the binding here allows for the notebook to lay flat and open very easily. This applies to every part of the notebook regardless of if you are opening the first few pages, the center pages, or the last pages you will find that this thing just stays wide open.
Beyond the incredibly smooth paper and great lay flat binding, the overall quality of construction on this notebook is top notch as well. In taking a closer look at the spine, you can see that the binding tape is not only heavy duty, but also clean cut with no stray edges or glue coming out from the edges. The same quality craftsmanship can also be found with the threaded insides of the binding.
One thing worth noting is that this 96 sheet B5 Apica Premium CD Notebook actually measures slightly larger than the standard B5 format. A standard B5 comes in at 17.6 cm by 25 cm, while the Apica measures 18.2 cm by 25.7 cm. This is obviously a pretty small variance, however it does fall outside the typical B5 size so I wanted to call it out here. As a side note, you are looking at a picture of the back cover above here, and that is the only printing or design that you see on the entire back cover.
Apica Premium CD Notebook Writing Sample
After feeling how smooth the paper was, I couldn’t wait to get nib and ink to the surface to see how the writing experience was. I can say I was not at all disappointed by the fountain pen friendly paper that also handled other pen and ink types without missing a beat. Using my Pelikan M805 Stresemann with a medium nib and Pelikan’s Edelstein Topaz ink made for a pretty amazing writing experience. The smoothness of the paper had my pen just gliding over the paper without an ounce of friction or toothy feeling. In my experiences to date I’ve only really tried the Pelikan Edelstein Topaz and some Mont Blanc Oyster Grey ink, both of which wrote flawlessly. Neither ink showed any tendency to feather, bleed, or show-through to any significant degree. I did see that the Pelikan Edelstein took a bit more time to dry as compared to the Mont Blanc ink, however this is most likely heavily influenced by the much smaller nib size used when writing with it. Plenty of other pens yielded great results too, with much improved dry times. I was particularly surprised by how quickly (almost instantly) the ink from the Pilot Precise V5 dried since it is a liquid ink.
Plenty of products out there throw around the word “Premium” to the point of it being a bit diluted, but in the case of the Apica Premium CD Notebook, that word applies in every sense of the meaning. Quality construction and materials along with great design and some of the best paper you are going to find to write on make this one of the best options you are going to find if you are looking for a top tier notebook. If you can find one locally, be forewarned that if you pick it up and feel the paper you will be hard pressed not to buy it, but this isn’t a notebook you are going to run across in your typical big box store notebook section so check them out via Amazon and via JetPens for one of the smoothest writing experiences you are going to find.