I ordered my first set of notebooks from Soumkine last January, this year. To be honest, it was an impulse buy. Lots of the notebooks were on sale and I’ve been wanting to get my hands on their notebooks already for quite a while, so I did not want to miss the chance!
I got myself these 4 notebooks!
Because this was an impulse buy, I never really thought about on what to do with them or what to use them for. So they were tucked away for a while, until the following month I finally decided to just keep 1 of the notebooks, and the rest will be sold in my small stationery shop on IG.
Among the 4 notebooks, this was the one I kept, which I’m using now as my health journal.
The other 3 has already been sold, and I couldn’t have been happier letting it go. Having notebooks stashed away not being used is a little stressful for me and also makes me feel guilty for hoarding.
When March came around, Soumkine did a crowdfunding for their new products. They’ve moved on from using saddle-stitch binding to coptic binding. (I think) I was tempted again to get myself another one, especially when I saw they now offer up to 380 pages in their notebooks!
This time around I did not want to be impulsive. I took some time to carefully think about what I wanted to do with it, checked my current notebooks and assigned different purposes to each one, so no notebook will be wasted.
I made my decision. I went over to the Soumkine website, chose which notebook to get, and placed my order.
And then, COVID-19 happened. What was supposedly only a month-long wait, took 4 months for the notebook to get here. It wasn’t just the shipping that was delayed, their production also came to a halt for health & safety precautions, which I totally understood. And when I emailed them about it, Fiodor, the founder, was very kind to explain to me what happened and what to expect. I was not really on any rush, so I did not mind waiting at all.
Until finally last Wednesday, I received a notice card from the post office that I have a parcel to claim.
Our quarantine pass only allows us to go out every Tuesday, Thursday, & Saturday, so I had to wait one more day.
I still feel paranoid going out. I think since the quarantine period began, I’ve only gone out, twice? The other time was when we got our adopted cats from Becky, the lovely lady who fostered them.
After we claimed my parcel at the post office, Q decided to take me out for lunch at Sans Rival Bistro, which was really nice.
While waiting for our food, I decided to open my parcel.
I love the way the notebook was packaged! It even came with a card addressed to me, with my name handwritten on it. I thought it was thoughtful, and really felt personal. There are also 3 postcard-like cards, I think, with illustrations of the Eiffel Tower.
I adore Soumkine notebooks, and I love that they’re all handmade, and not manufactured by machines elsewhere. When they said it’s made in France, it really IS made in France. The notebooks aren’t without imperfections, but I just treat it as part of its charm.
The Soumkine Atelier tries hard to preserve centuries-old tradition while paying tribute to the previous generations of bookbinders and printers. They believe that together with the people who support them, they contribute to safeguarding the intangible cultural heritage of paper-craft. And being a part of that initiative, by buying their products, is such an honor and privilege.
This notebook will now serve as my commonplace book. It has 380 pages! I’m really excited to use it!
Here’s a proper unboxing video of my package, and some information on the notebook taken from the Soumkine website.
Made in France
2nd Generation of Soumkine’s DOTTED Notebook — N.305 (Notebook. Slim / Traveler’s notebook size [Regular])
• The N.305 is manufactured using traditional bookbinding technique: sewn by threads, it lies 180 degrees flat on the surface for a better experience.
• To give you more space for your notes on the same layout, we reduced the line spacing from 5 mm to 3.88 mm.
• Black spine is protected with high-resistant Fedrigoni paper, which was also used by German camera manufacturer Leica in its “Paper Skin” special edition.
• 140 numbered pages (260 or 380 numbered pages as option)
• Slim size is 4.3 × 8.3 inches (11 × 21 cm) fits the Traveler’s Notebook
• “Red Salmon” Dotted 3.88 mm grid
• 70 gsm premium quality Italian paper
• Excellent for Fountain pens
• Warm ivory color
• High-resistant Black spine for better protection
• Soft textured cover
• End-sheets in cinnamon color
• Notebooks and Sketchbook guide on the last layout
• Every single notebook has a unique number
Slowly handcrafted in Paris, France.
Cover type: Softcover
Binding: Thread & Cold Glue
Page Numbering: Yes
Sheet Color: Ivory
Size Depth: 8 mm (140 pages), 14 mm (260 pages), 20 mm (380 pages)
Weight: 179 g (140 pages), 278 g (260 pages), 363 g (380 pages)