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Monk Paper Lokta Notebooks

This is my first review for the Pen Boutique, so thanks to them for providing the notebooks reviewed here. I'd never seen this kind of paper, and it's not something that you're going to find in your neighborhood paper shop (at least, I don't think so).

According to the internet, lokta paper is hand-made from bushes that grow in the Himalayan forests of Nepal. That's pretty neat. It's also billed as eco-friendly and durable. Its' a really thick paper, and it does feel pretty sturdy.

Interestingly, the paper is really light. The notebook below (mine is a different color than the current offerings) is listed at a mere 9.7oz. That's really light for a 6x9 notebook of paper with that thickness.

This notebook would be really interesting for a journal or something of that nature. The strip of bamboo across the top of the page isn't tied to anything, it just seems to be glued to the first page. It does look neat, but I wish it had something to do with the binding. Could also be very cool to pull out when you become a reporter for the Daily Planet.

This paper is smooth on one side, and rougher on the other. The rough side might be good for some brush-work or an art notebook. Pencil, maybe? The other side is smooth, and that's going to be the side that you'll use for pens. I'll have more on the kinds of pens that are best on this paper later in the post.

The hand-made nature of this paper is going to be a big part of its draw. The paper is textured, and there are, occasionally, irregular areas and inclusions like the one below that make it feel pastoral. It's also eco-friendly (non-polluting and renewable), and acid-free. There are all sorts of reasons to check this paper out.

Pen Performance

Like lots of other papers, it really matters what you write with. This paper isn't particularly FP friendly, but it works well with gels and ballpoints. I think, due to the texture of the paper, that a wider point is going to be your friend on this paper. Very fine points are going to hit a ripple and dig-in while a wider point is going to roll right over them. It's also rough enough that pens with a ball-tip are going to be preferable to a fountain pen. I kept getting fibers in the tines of my Sheaffer desk pen (a fine-ish nib).

Another reason not to use a FP on this paper is revealed on the reverse side of the paper. Don't use a porous point pen (Stabilo Point 88, Pilot V-Razor, and the like) on this paper, either. Even a Sharpie Pen (which hardly ever bleeds through) went through this paper.

Gels and ballpoints, on the other hand, were just fine. A fine point rollerball might also be okay, but the fine point didn't feel nice on the paper. That digging-in thing, again.

 The binding in the book-format is a nice, sturdy string binding. It doesn't lay flat, but the light paper is easy enough to hold down while you write. It's probably not going to bug many people.

Some neat Lokta paper facts:

Germ-resistant paper! How about that? I kinda want to test that, but I don't really know what it's supposed to mean. Paper hardly ever gets ill. It does get mouldy, though, so that's probably what it means. According to the internet, this is the paper that political and religious documents were printed on because it tends to last a long time.

There's a lot of ink on the back of this information sheet, but it's not bleed-through. I'm curious about what sort of inks they used when they printed this card. The ink on the back is transfer from the sheet printed immediately before this one, I'd wager.

So, go to Pen Boutique and check out some Lokta paper. It comes in singles and in pads of various sorts, and they seem to be in the $15 range.

Thanks, again, to the Pen Boutique for sending out these notebooks. While these materials were provided at no charge, the review above is entirely based upon my impressions and expressions.

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