Sunday, April 15, 2012

MUJI Recycled Paper 365 Pages Note

The notebooks on the left, the envelopes on the right. Or is it??? Tune in never to find out

When I went to Taiwan a few months ago I happened to stumble across a MUJI. MUJI is well known for its modern, no-nonsense products and reasonable prices. I love minimalism so I spent a lot of time looking around. After browsing for about an hour, I bought two notebooks, one sketchbook, two packs of kraft paper envelopes, and some small denim tags. The sketchbook and the tags were gifted immediately to close friends.

The paper in these notebooks is an off-white, smooth paper. I'm no good at reading Japanese (which for some reason most of the store was in) so when I picked up these notebooks I didn't know that they were recycled. The paper isn't the best despite being as smooth as a baby's bottom and you will get spots of bleeding and slight feathering. You do get 365 pages, though, and if you are a Real Stickler on using fountain pens or any pen that uses liquid ink, you can skip the back side.

There is something really great about having a notebook you feel is disposable, in a sense. I have no problem with obliterating entire passages with ink, skipping pages (for effect), and pasting in poems and my favorite passages from books I have read. It makes one feel very creative with how they can change a book to suit what they feel like it should be.

What I love about the blank cover of the notebook is that you can really do whatever you want with it. It's some sort of glossy brown paper, so I wouldn't suggest using anything that could smear, but Sharpies, ballpoints, Copics... those kinds of things should do the trick.

I, for instance, took out an atlas (which I bought at the local thrift store for about four dollars) page and cut it to size. Right now - some four months later - the cover is pretty dang ratty. I taped the cover on the inside and it's easy to remove, so when it rips I can replace it with another cover. ~Customization in the 21st century, everybody~

I purchased my notebook at the Ximen MUJI in Taiwan for NT$90 (about US$3). The MUJI has a store locator with links to all of its websites, and the US online store sells it for $4.50.

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