In any event, I thought those of you that commented might be curious to see how the experiment is going.
As the title gives away, this post is about the Levenger pre-punched Circa paper. Now, I don't see any explicit claims on the Levenger website that the Circa paper is fountain-pen friendly, but: (1) I have seen reviewers make that claim; (2) Levenger has at least one picture of a fountain pen on a Circa product page; and (3) the pre-punched Circa paper is insanely expensive. With all that, you'd expect it to take fountain open ink well, but I'm here to tell you: if you want to use a fountain pen regularly in a Circa notebook, you should count on buying a Circa punch so you can buy some decent paper for doing so, because the Circa paper I checked out stinks.
I started with a letter-size and junior size Circa starter kits. The paper felt nice and smooth, and its darned heavy (60 lb.) paper. But after trying a variety of pens on it, I was asking myself how they managed to engineer such a thick, smooth piece of paper into a bloody mess. That ink has to travel a long way to bleed through, but this paper apparently makes the trip easy. I tried Rolla brand paper from Staples, too, and it was just as bad.
|Levenger Circa paper bleed-through|
|Rolla brand paper bleed-through|
|Colored papers did better; Rolla brand paper at top right|
So there I was, about to write off Circa forever just because the Circa paper did not take fountain pen ink well. The I started reading around Fountain Pen Network and DIY Planner and saw that lots of people are in search of better paper and plenty of people are willing to offer their advice.
Then I realized: I'm not going to be writing with fountain pens in any event. I mean, I love fountain pens, but for my everyday work notebook, keeping track of projects and my calendar, a nice gel pen is fine. But I did not like the layout of the CIrca paper, either. So I settled on some 32 lb Wausau paper, very slick to the touch. My Zebra Sarasa Clip gel pens slide across it like skates on ice. (It doesn't take fountain pen ink all that much better than the Circa paper, but at least I can print my own layouts on it.) So, I''ve kept going with Circa, and will post more about my ups and downs as I go.
And wouldn't you know, just as I get around to bitching about the Circa paper, Biffybeans announces at FPN that Levenger will be carrying Rhodia 90 gsm paper for their letter-sized Circa notebooks. Genuine letter-sized rather than A4? That would be great, except I use a junior size Circa (5.5 in x 8.5 in). But let's give it time and see what develops. (UPDATE: And here it is. But is 90 gsm heavy enough to stand up to repeated page turning and extraction/insertion?)