Sunday, November 18, 2012

I'm finally a member of the Malden club!

Yesterday I went to the Philofaxy meetup in Edinburgh, which was so much fun!  I did a separate post on it, but meanwhile I couldn't wait to show you my new Personal Ochre Malden!  Woo hoo!!

I've been looking at these since I first saw one in London when I was there 2 1/2 years ago. I liked Steve's so much at lunch I decided I really needed to get one. At The Pen Shop I dug around behind their main stock searching for an ochre Malden and lo and behold I found one!  I couldn't help feeling it was meant for me.

But this morning as I was loading it up I discovered, much to my astonishment, not only does it not lie flat but it doesn't even stay open by itself! Here it is in the process of closing on its own:
If I have pages to the left, it stays open but definitely not flat:
I wondered what the heck was up, because I've heard so much about the Malden's legendary flatability. Upon further inspection, I discovered there's some kind of reinforcing material around the spine between the leather layers. I can't tell if it's plastic or some kind of cardboard, but it makes a kind of crunching noise when I forcibly open the binder out flat. Below you can see where the cover bends at the edge of this reinforcing material inside the binder:
Here's the front cover:
And here's the back. Unfortunately the edge of the plastic or whatever is right where the front and back full-length pocket slits are, making it difficult to get things in and out of those pockets.
Well dang it. While I was at the store I examined the rings so much to make sure they didn't gap I didn't even notice the stiffness around the spine!  Maybe it's for the best, because I think a totally floppy cover might be too floppy? Oh well it's mine now, and aside from the stiffness I love it.

The only other issue I noticed was when I first put my pen into the leather non-elasticated pen loop, a piece of the leather from inside the loop came out the bottom of the pen loop. I pushed my pen back up from the other direction in the pen loop to stuff that scrap of leather back in, then once the loop was opened up it was fine and I can get my pen in and out of there without the scrap sticking out anymore. The leather loop holds a relatively thin pen. (I told my husband the moment a Filofax has a pen in its loop is like the moment it actually comes to life. It's ready to write in and use!)

I'm using it as a wallet with my payment cards in the front card slots and all my loyalty cards, library card etc. in business card holders at the back. I love that my phone fits into the back pocket:

Here are my tabs:
The Malden came with A-Z tabs, which I took out to save space. It also came with four blank tabbed dividers, which I took out and put in the tabbed dividers from my other Filofax which I already had set up so I just stuck them in there.

I have month on two pages calendars and a 4-year pull-out planner, financial stuff with the calculator on the rings,
an Information section with maps of Scotland and Edinburgh (which would have been handy to have with me yesterday!)
There's still tons of room left on the rings so if I wanted to add more pages there would be plenty of room.

Today's the first day I'm using it as a combined wallet + info book, and so far so good.  I keep my coins and bills in a separate coin purse so the Malden has only cards in it.

It feels good to have a Filofax as an information-on-the-go book again!  And I do love the leather of the ochre Malden. It already had a couple of scratches on the cover around the spine when I got it, so I don't have to worry about messing up a perfect cover. Plus the ochre leather has an antiqued look that I love, and any scratches or anything really would just add to the character of the book, making it look used and well-loved.

Does anyone else have a Malden with the stiffness issues of this one? If so, were you able to get it to lie flat eventually?

**Update June 2013: Eventually I realized there wasn't anything sandwiched between the leather after all. The hardness was the actual leather on the inside of the spine next to the rings. That leather was so hard it cracked and crunched when I bent it to try to get the binder to lay flat. When I held the binder in my hands I could feel the hardness around the spine and the distinct line of it through the cover. I did the Nivea treatment on it and although it made the leather look better (not so dry), it didn't penetrate to soften that piece of leather.

I continued to be so disappointed that this binder wasn't soft and buttery like I had expected a Malden to be. I never got over it and just never bonded with this Malden . So, I sold it to someone who I hope will love it like it deserves to be!

20 comments:

  1. Glad to hear the meet up in Edinburgh went well and look forward to the write up. As I told you on Twitter last week I was given a grey personal Malden as a surprise gift. I had the same issue with it not staying open or lying flat. I assume it will improve with time but I did a bit of bending to speed things up. Bending the cover back from the rings certainly means it lies open now. It's not quite lying flat but much improved so I think it will work out fine.

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  2. I have a personal Malden but it never had any problem laying flat. I don't notice that stiffness you mentioned either.

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  3. I know a lot of people buying a Malden at the London meet ups, but never saw this problem. Maybe Filofax altered the spine? Anyhow, welcome to the Malden club! I'm sure you will enjoy this binder :-)

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  4. I have had the same issue. I covered it in Nivea overnight and weighed it down. This made it lie flat. My other maidens haven't had this problem. I wonder if the carboardy thing is a new edition.

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    1. I think it must be a new thing because I've never heard of other Maldens having this issue until now.

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    2. This is not how they originally made the personal ochre Malden, or any other color/size I know of. They must have changed the construction for some reason. It's a beautiful Filofax. Not so keen on how this new model is structured, but like you said, maybe in the long run it would be advantageous? Anita's purple Malden was constructed similar to yours which is a new color in the range.

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  5. That is very odd about the cardboard-plastic-thingy. I have that same Malden and after reading your post I went upstairs to check on mine again. :D
    I hadn't used it at all but it opens almost totally flat out of the box. Very weird how the very same style can behave so differently.

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  6. That is very odd about the cardboard-plastic-thingy. I have that same Malden and after reading your post I went upstairs to check on mine again. :D
    I hadn't used it at all but it opens almost totally flat out of the box. Very weird how the very same style can behave so differently.

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  7. Mine did this too; I got it this past spring, also in ochre. I did some bending back on the covers; it stays open but does not lay flat unless I have some pages open. I don't mind it. If I used it as much as the pocket Malden I have, I imagine it would be much more flexible.

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  8. After some bending back it's already laying much flatter. What bothers me more than the stiffness is that whatever it is that's stiff inside the leather is visible through the leather cover. You can see a line down the front and back covers. Not enough of an issue for me to send it back though. Also, if I got a replacement maybe it would have the same thing.

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  9. Hi Laurie
    I had the same issue with the internal leather on the penloop. It reoccurred on mine a few days ago, so I decided to use a little dab of wood glue (PVA glue) under the loose leather and then pushed the pen back in and it glued itself back again. Not had a problem since.
    When I recover from the journey etc I will investigate the flatness issue in more detail and send you some photos.
    Steve

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    1. Thanks for the glue tip Steve, I will do that if the leather sticks out again.

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  10. About the leather in the penloop, I had that the first time I used my Chameleon pen loop, but it was fine after that.

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  11. Hi Laurie,
    I was also a bit surprised as my purple Malden didn't lie flat out of the box: http://www.flickr.com/photos/aikigirlie/7459215306/in/set-72157627123805953

    I used it continuously for 3 months before it was returned & it was slowly starting to get better. Weirdly, it lay pretty much flat when I used it abroad for 2 weeks (full of money, passport etc.) but immediately sprung back to its previous position when less full! I loved it so much that I was willing to be patient.

    My personal crimson & A5 vintage pink both lay flat out of the box. My Ascot isn't quite flat but very close & I'm loving it so much that I'm not planning on buying any more :)

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    1. Anita after reading your post on returning your purple Malden I'm worried about the same thing happening to mine. I felt like it was a big risk to buy a Filofax at all right now when they are having so many problems with rings gapping and not aligning properly! Did the rings on yours start out gapping and then get worse, or were they fine at the beginning and then develop the problem?

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    2. The rings on mine were absolutely fine at the beginning, & then one day I opened it & there was gapping & some misalignment : Hopefully I was just unlucky & yours will be fine.

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    3. Ugh, how disappointing! I hope that doesn't happen to mine.

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  12. This thread has me a bit worried. I just ordered a grey Personal Malden because I love my pocket and A5 grey Malden so much! Of course, I purchased them both gently (barely) used from Adspot so not sure if they were flat when new but when I got them they are very flat, have no stiffness in the spine area and are buttery soft, smooth and smell delish. I was expecting that the Personal size would be as lovely. Fingers crossed but now I'm worried! One of the reasons I liked the Malden so much is that it was flat and floppy and flexible. I'm wondering if the 2 I purchased on Adspot are more like the 'originals'. Well, we'll see when I get mine what it is like. I thought maybe it was just the color that made the difference but I see someone posted above they have a grey and it does the same thing. I'll report back.

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  13. A few weeks ago I finally received my long awaited backordered personal purple Malden from Pens and Leather. I took her out of the box long enough to make sure it was indeed purple, not all scratched up or otherwise marred and that the rings were okay. All of that checked out just fine so I put her back into the box and will begin using her when the new year arrives. However, after reading this post and the additional comments I decided to pull her out and check for this issue....indeed, she has the very same "problem"...I'm going to assume it has something to do with how Filofax is now constructing the Malden. I have never understood the concept of trying to improve on something that needs no improvement, but perhaps the design team at Filofax was having a slow day when they came up with the idea to reinforce the spine. After bending my Malden cover a bit and pushing down on the area by the rings I do believe it will eventually be fine. I'm thinking she may just need a break in period. I am currently using my A5 Vintage Pink Malden that I've had for some time and she did not have that issue at all, she has always laid completely flat when open and I do not feel any cardboard/reinforced area on the spine. Good luck with yours, Laurie and welcome to the Malden "family"!

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  14. I have an Ochre that is stiffened as well and lay it down with a pile of paper back books on each side as close to the rings as I could get them, then lay a couple hardcovers across those (now taller than the rings). It sounds brutal but it now open and stays poen easily, in fact I think I realigned it's neutral point as it kinda springs open once I unsnap the clasp, but I don't mind that. I'll admit I'd prefer one that wasn't stiffened but I think I'll beat this one into submissin eventually :-) Good luck with yours

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