It was on my very last day living in Scotland that I discovered these amazing Scottish notebooks! Actually even before I moved to Scotland last year Massimo had recommended I check these out (see his comment on my New Life, New Planner? post in August last year). But then after I arrived I completely forgot. Then reku tweeted me about them a few days before I moved away last month, and I realized I very nearly missed my opportunity to try these most Scottish of notebooks.
On the Friday before I moved on Tuesday, I phoned up to order directly from the company, and managed to place my order just in time to receive it before I left. They were super-fast in getting my order out that very day. In fact, my package arrived the next day (Saturday) while I was out, and since it was too big to fit through my letter slot I got a card to go pick it up at the post office on Monday, the day before I left. Which is probably for the best because otherwise I would have spent the rest of the weekend playing with my new notebooks instead of finishing up my pre-move task list! I quickly snapped some photos before tossing these into my suitcase.
Alwych notebooks (www.alwych.co.uk) have an all-weather cover and an old-school retro look I love. Here's the large one:
I wanted to order one in each of the four sizes, but they were temporarily out of the two middle sizes so I got two each of smallest and largest sizes. The smallest is perfect to fit in a pocket, and the largest is still just 8 by 5 inches so it fits easily in a field bag. Click on the photo below to enlarge so you can see the measurements of all their books.
The page edges are blue, which looks cool:
The page lines are green:
The ruling in the large book is slightly wider than in the pocket size book. Click on the photo for a better view:
The binding is sewn so pages won't fall out of the book:
Click on the photo below to read the product info sheet which has information about the paper and binding. There are 280 pages in the large book:
There is a fantastic post on Black Cover that compares the Alwych notebook to Moleskine. Please click here to go read it then come back.
And let me just stand and applaud.
I completely agree, I've never been impressed by Moleskine's rhetoric about what famous people used to use a similar notebook. But I am very impressed that real-life people with outdoor jobs and activities (like paleontologists and ornithologists) use Alwych notebooks in all weather conditions. I identify much more with that crowd.
I am disappointed with myself that I didn't get my hands on these notebooks right when I first moved to Scotland. I would have loved to fill up my Alwych notebooks with field observations of birds and plants in the forest, sea life when I visited the coast, and wildlife observations of all kinds. Maybe I'll save one of these specifically for when I return to Scotland. And you can bet when I do get back to Scotland I'll order up a shedload of these great notebooks!
Click here to order Alwych notebooks online: http://www.alwych.co.uk/order_online.html or call 01698 357 223 to order. To order from outside the UK, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your order and full mailing address, and they will reply with your total including shipping. They are very nice people there and extremely helpful, so just give them a call and they will be happy to help you out. :)