Posts Tagged ‘journal review’

Barnes and Noble Basic Black Lined Journal Review

I spend quite a bit of time at my local Barnes and Noble, and am often seduced by office supplies there, as well as books. The one I’m about to review is simply called the “Basic Black Lined Journal.”

The basics: It measures five by eight inches, has square corners, and lined pages. It’s hardcover, with a black ribbon bookmark. The Barnes and Noble website doesn’t seem to tell me how many pages it has, but it’s thick, maybe 200+ pages, I guess.

The good: It definitely feels durable. This is something you could keep around for years, and it would probably last. It’s also thick, and the pages are really thick, too. Writing with a Sharpie pen barely shows through, and an average ballpoint pen (I used one with my university’s name printed on it, nothing special), not at all. The endpapers have a cool spiral design, which is something a little non-standard in an otherwise very basic journal. I like the ribbon bookmark, too. The size is good for a journal that generally stays at home, and has serious things written in it, and is meant to stay on a shelf for years to come. And the price can’t be beat–just $4.95. The lines on the pages are thin, which I like. It opens fairly flat for a journal of this size.

The bad: It’s really not portable at all. The size, rigidity, and lack of an elastic closure mean it would make an awful travel journal, for example. It also doesn’t have a pocket in the back, and the thick pages might be a little too thick–they’re almost like cardstock. Not elegant at all. The lines hover weirdly in the middle of the page, with blank margins on all four sides. It’s not a very efficient use of space. It’s really thick, which is kind of intimidating,

The ugly: The lines on the pages are solid black. No room for going outside the lines, really, besides, I suppose, doodling in the plentiful margins. I’d prefer something a little lighter and less imposing. Also, the word “Journal” is stamped on the front, which is kind of irritating; what if that’s not what I’m using it for?

The verdict: It’s basic, classic, and great for the price. It’s not for everyone, and lacks a few features some might find key, but it’s a good value.

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