Follow Up to the Rhodia Web Book

I did a review last February on the Rhodia Web Book. At the time, I had just recieved the journal and started using it. While my first impressions were quite good, I wrote that review after having used the journal for about a month at the time. I was looking through my desk drawer today and ran across that now retired journal. It struck me that a) I need to work on “Fountain of Pens” again. Two posting a year is pretty lame. And b) I should do a follow-up on this journal.

This will be short, as the details of this journal can be found in the previous post. Let’s just say, I ended up dissapointed. In the end, I felt like the construction was rather…lacking.  The spine completely separated from the cover, and though this journal never sat out in the elements, the bold orange color faded away to a weird orangy-yellow. Would I buy this journal again? I’m not sure. While this one kind of fell apart on me, I have to wonder, was that a fluke? The paper is absolutely wonderful….If I could get this paper in an EcoSystems journal………

Rhodia Web Book

Well, once again, I’ve gotten behind on updating things here. But thanks to the Karen and the fine folks at Exaclair,( ) I got a really neat journal to review, the Rhodia Web Book. If you do a search for these journals, you’ll find a lot of reviews….but, well, here’s another one.

First a note about how I use journals. Typically, I utilize two journals at any given time. I usually carry a small journal for work notes & “to-do” lists with me all the time. For daily “writing”, that is, documenting everything my 4 kids destroyed on any given day and my thoughts pertaining to the upcoming WWF Ultimate fighter match between Sarah Palin and Tina Fey. These journals are usually a larger 5 x 8.5 inch Moleskin style books.

This particular journal is 3.5 x 5.5 inches. It’s also a Moleskin style, but Rhodia has far surpassed the venerable Moleskin at least in terms of quality. This one is orange (I think they make a black one as well) and has a cool “rubbery” feel. The Rhodia logo is embossed on the front cover, which I know some people won’t like, but I think is pretty cool. Consistent with this style of journal, the Rhodia features a pocket integrated into the back cover, and a silk-style ribbon for a bookmark. But it’s the paper that is the star here. It features 90g super smooth paper with 22 lines on each page. There is a small Rhodia logo in the bottom right hand corner of each page. This journal handled my fountain pens and various inks better than any other journal I’ve ever used, save one.

Figure 1 the Piccadilly Primo

The Piccadilly Primo Journal. Though in fairness, the Piccadilly’s paper is so heavy, that it results in a thicker journal than I want to carry with me daily. That being said, some pens and inks still bled though the Rhodia. Still, it’s far superior for fountain pen use compared to any others I’ve tried in the Moleskin style.

Figure 2 Front page of ink samples

So, for the Pros and the Cons:


  • Looks and feels good. I like the “rubberized” cover – may sound silly, but it just feels good.
  • The paper is just fantastic. Smooth to the touch and to write on.
  • Construction quality is top notch. Mine gets tossed around and occasionally rides in my hip pocket. It’s held up very well.
  • It’s unique. You just don’t see that many folks carrying around a bright orange journal.

The Cons:

  • Really, only one complaint, the price. You can find these online from about $14.50 up to as much as $18 plus shipping. There is a local pen shop here in Lexington that carries them for $15. I guess you can argue that you get what you pay for, and in this case, it’s true. Compared to the real Moleskin, it’s a superior product. Further, if you’re like me and usually use fountain pens, this journal will out-perform any other journal in it’s class (at least all the ones I’ve tried thus far, ie Moleskin, Ecosystem, C.R. Gibsons Markings). However, If you’re a ballpoint, rollerball or gel pen user, you won’t see as much of a difference.

Overall, a fantastic journal!