How could I resist? One of the notebooks made by Write Notepads & Co. features an image of the U.S.S. Constellation. I purchased two of these and really like them. And then I bought some of their other designs.
The notebooks are made in Baltimore with all U.S.-sourced material. For every one sold, the company donates a notebook of a different type to a Baltimore school. There’s a code inside the notebook you buy that when entered on their website will show you which school benefited from your purchase. They sell a limited-edition Baltimore one, and have a series on the boroughs of New York.
These are fun, useful, sturdy notebooks. They are 8.5″ by 5.5″, with nicely letterpressed covers. They have 120 pages (60 leaves). There’s no nonsense here. They’re spiral notebooks the way they’re supposed to be made. They say simply, “Here, hon, have a notebook.” They’re charming.
Which brings us to Charm City. These notebooks are very Baltimorean. They’re utilitarian and industrial, yet beautiful and brash. They’re cool, but don’t take themselves too seriously. The cover stock is as thick as a Berger cookie (well, nearly). You can hold the notebook in midair and balance a Natty Boh on it. Two, even. (I haven’t tried it yet, but I don’t need to.) I can tell that the company even takes great care in packaging one’s order.
I like how thick the paper is. It’s quite thick. There’s the occasional miniscule fleck of color in the paper, but the charm factor has already been noted; and I’d prefer a different texture for a fountain pen, but there’s no real showthrough with the one I use. Most pens will do quite well on it, of course. Pencil Revolution has said the paper is nearly ideal for pencils. Additional in-depth reviews on the paper from those more expert than I can be found on From the Pen Cup and Inkdependence.
The binding wire is high-quality. This isn’t going to bend permanently or make your pages get caught in it. It has a nice feel to it (hard to explain). The color is steampunk copper with a hint of Power Plant bronze.
I like that each page is perforated since, unlike John Adams, I don’t mind burning “Bushells” of “Silly notes” while in “fitts.” The notebook has good portability, because it comes with a band closure, and that durable cover serves as its own desk. These would be great to use as a Field Notes’ bigger brother.
It’s a notebook. Don’t expect the Taj Mahal, or even the Taj Mahal of notebooks. The Taj Mahal ain’t in Baltimore. This is a Baltimore notebook. And that should be good enough for anyone.