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So last Saturday I found myself downtown and decided to visit Reid’s Stationers, my favorite pen shop in Calgary. I still had a Christmas gift card to spend and what better place than one filled with notebooks, pens and ink?


This was a journal-finding mission, for no other reason than I was in the mood to buy journals. So many choices. But I narrowed it down to three.


The brown on the bottom is a Winnable Executive Journal. The orangey one in the middle is a Paperblanks William Shakespeare Sir Thomas More Ultra Journal. And the blue one on top is a Plan Ahead Journal.


The Winnable Executive Journal has a leather-like cover with stitching all around the edges. The covers must have a layer of foam as they are rather splodgy (if that’s a word).


Nice dedication page.


The cream-coloured pages have a 0.65 mm ruling, which I prefer.


I did a pen test (which I don’t always do but I was feeling ambitious). You can see only the De Atramentis ink in the Monteverde Prima with a 1.1 italic nib showed any feathering. Please disregard the Monteverde Prima above it; I think the Green Swirl is running out of ink. I always have difficulties with that pen. 😦 Anyway, the ink test did really well on this paper. It’s not exactly the same as my Winnable Leather Journal but it’s close. The 1.1 italic feathers on that paper too.


Show through is rampant, with the Pilot Metropolitan being the worst culprit. I suspected as much as the paper is super thin. This journal retails for $21.95.


Next up is the Shakespeare journal for which I have been searching a long time. The cover is a facsimile of one of three pages of the play Sir Thomas More, of which Shakespeare was considered to be one of the authors. Experts have determined the pages are Shakespeare’s own handwriting, and the fly leaf shows one of the six known (and authenticated) signatures.


I get chills just looking at it now. I almost squealed when I saw it in the shop!


No surprises on the inside. Standard cream, lined paper with a 0.8 mm ruling. And the ever-present red ribbon.


Lovely inscription on the back.


Here is another pen test on the Paperblanks. No feathering whatsoever with the italic nib, which one would expect because of the better paper.


And no show through at all. Very nice. Exactly what one expects from Paperblanks. This journal retails for $24.95.


And finally a journal I’ve never seen before: the Plan Ahead Journal. This small journal retails for just $8.99. At that price I couldn’t resist.


Nice endpapers.


Cream-coloured paper once again, with a 0.65 mm ruling. Lovely navy ribbon.


Another pen test and interestingly, not as much bleed through on the Prima italic as with the Winnable Executive.


Pretty much identical to the Winnable for show through. If show through is important to you the Paperblanks is the clear winner there. And it’s also the winner for no feathering. But for value for money you can’t beat the Plan Ahead Journal. None of them had pen loops, which was disappointing but hey you can’t have everything.

I hope you enjoyed sharing my little shopping trip. If you ever have a chance to visit Reid’s Stationers in Calgary, Alberta, Canada do not pass it up. Wonderful selection and amazing staff. And they do not sponsor me in any way; I purchased all of these items and all of my opinions are my own.