The Recorder comes in four colours: “Deep Ocean” which is what is featured in this review; “Infinite Space” with a black cover; “Crimson Red” with, you guessed it, a red cover; and finally “Forest Canopy” with a green cover. All of the Recorder colours come with the turquoise elastic strap (and presumably also the turquoise bookmark). The notebook has 192 pages of 68gsm acid-free paper boasting “exceptional ink friendliness” and “zero bleed-through”. The Endless website states that the paper is 68gsm Tomoe River but The Pen World states that the paper is “68 gsm, Customized Japanese Paper”. I’m willing to believe that both of these are true in that it is a customised 68gsm Tomoe River paper. While “The World's Most Ink Friendly Notebook” is pretty much textbook puffery, for me listing “Zero bleed-through” as a feature of the paper takes it further than that!
The cover is a faux-leather with some nice texture and a very the aesthetically pleasing Endless logo of a dash followed by three dots debossed on the bottom middle. This logo is apparently not morse code for “B” but is to represent the notion that “content proceeds to infinity”.
The back cover is also plainly adorned with simple debossed “ENDLESS” written on the bottom middle and otherwise only acts as a location for the elastic strap moored. The faux-leather cover is neatly secured to endpaper and front board. The notebook also features the 16 pages (of the 192p) being perforated. This isn’t something I’d ever use (I’ve also never finished a notebook so I doubt I’d get to it either!) but I’m sure people find a use for this!
The end paper features circles covering the whole two pages with the Endless logo button to the right of the second page and a blank area in the top middle of the second page dedicated to a notebook title area. After that there are two pages dedicated to a Table of Contents which allows for 70 entries which would translate to 2.74 pages per table of contents item. A handy feature for people more organised than I! After that there is the 192 pages (only 187 of which are blank) of graph paper (which is what is on my notebook) until on the back end paper there is an expandable inner pocket.
The bookblock contains five sections each bound with string with a 12-hole binding. The binding is tight and seems strong. I expect this will last pretty well.
The paper lays very flat, especially if you put pressure on the pages or even just rest of them. This is pretty decent!
The paper which is described by The Pen World as “Customized Japanese Paper” is, as mentioned, also stated two be 68gsm Tomoe River by Endless themselves. This is pretty thin (or light) keeps the notebook rather thin and light which is very nice!
This is almost certainly Tomoe River paper however not all Tomoe River is the same in my experience. Looking at the 52gsm variety I’ve noticed three different variations:
what I consider to be the normal version which is in most books and notebooks or notepads that ghosts quite a bit and offers a lot of sheen;
Hobonichi’s 2019 paper in their Cousin (this is where I noticed it at least) was also different because the ghosting was far more prevalent and visible than previous years. Some people also reported some bleeding.
Seven Seas 52gsm paper feels less supple and malleable than the above two.
This leads me to believe that it’s perfectly reasonable for the 68gsm Tomoe River paper to have varieties as well and I am seeing it here. I find the ghosting to be less prominent on this Endless Recorder than the same inks and pens and nibs on my Taroko 68gsm notebook. On this paper the ghosting is a desaturated blurred grey but on 68gsm Tomoe River the colour is visible and the outline more crisp. You can also see the writing on the leaf below the paper you are writing on easier on 68gsm Tomoe River. The paper on my Taroko is also softer, more malleable, and a little smoother compared to the Endless Recorder. So I’m willing to believe that this is customised 68gsm Tomoe River paper because the writing experience is slightly different.
For me the ghosting is darker and the edges are more defined on the Taroko Notebook plus the colours are more vibrant.
Here we are looking through a leaf of paper with the writing on the page underneath. For me here to the writing is far more legible on the Taroko Notebook.
The paper is generally smooth with just a small amount of pleasant texture to feel. The paper isn’t supple like most 52gsm Tomoe River paper (or even the 68gsm of Taroko) but is the same off-white Ivory Tomoe River paper (which is the whiter of the two versions of Tomoe River with Cream being the more yellow).
The lighter and thinner paper comes with some ghosting and see through. For me it’s not distracting or annoying but for some it might be. It’s far better than the ghosting on 52gsm Tomoe River.
The Recorder is available in Dotted (dot grid), Ruled, Squared (graph), and Blank options. However, peculiarly, the Squared (graph) ruling featured on this notebook is not available for the Crimson Sky and Forest Canopy coloured notebooks; I wonder why! All of the pages are numbered in the outer bottom corners in a 1cm tall section section that is not covered by the graph. The graph squares themselves are 5x5mm.
The one area of the Notebook that appears a little sloppy is that the graph is not cut evenly relative to the lines horizontally. The vertical lines are the same on every page but the horizontal line show a larger or a smaller rectangle at the the extremes of a page from one leaf to another. This is obviously something to do with with the dimensions of a A4 leaf in conjunction with the dimensions of the 5mm squares but I’m sure there is a way to improve this!
The book is slightly narrower than both my Leuchtturm1917 and my LAMY paper A5 Hard Cover Notebook. This is a bit of a surprise! I don’t know whether the LAMY is slightly larger than A5 or this is slightly smaller. As you can see the 68gsm makes a nice difference in the thickness of the book with the LAMY (also with 192 pages) being noticeably thicker due to the 90gsm paper in that notebook.
The Endless Recorder also can come with an optional Brooch that can have option laser engraving. The Pen World sent me an engraved (with my first name) Brooch along with the notebook. This Brooch, I think, can be very helpful and useful but I fear that in its current shape it’s a little less useful than it could be. The Brooch is a perfectly flat strip of metal bent in half until the ends meet. However there is no easy way to lift the brooch open to clip something in it. The instructions for the brooch suggest using keys or a spoon and this is certainly something that can easily be done I feel if one of the end of the brooch was bent upward just a little it would help a lot with pushing it onto the book or lifting it to push pages under. With the exception of the slight difficulty setting up the brooch I do like its functionality.
The pack also comes with a Catalogue that has some info on the designers and the book as well as the philosophy behind it. It has info on the book and shows the other colours.
There is also a “Register your Recorder” card with a unique code in red letters (edited out of the photos here). Registering the Recorder is essentially just signing up for a glorified email list with the website stating:
Register Your Recorder
As a member of the Endless community, you’ll be the first to know about our products and be a recipient to special offers and promotions.
I have not received any promotional material since I registered so it seem they do not spam you which is very good! And special offers and promotions might be attractive to some.
The other unique part of this notebook is that it comes with a case - sort of. It’s also missing a pen loop on the book. But that’s because it’s attached to the case - a case which his actually more of a bag!
The Endless Recorder comes with a rustic cotton pouch with the Endless logo on the front bottom right. It has a pull to tighten string enclosure and inside is a single pen loop. This will stop the notebook from being scratched but I wouldn’t suggest trusting this pouch to protect an expensive pen from anything but scratches. I do like the whole idea of this!
Lamy Crystal Ink Azurite presents as a rich blue leaning purple and with some OK shading in some nibs but the ink is normally a little flat. There is no feathering at all.
The Tomoe River paper is not fast at absorbing ink. There is no bleeding at all from Azurite with the exception of the heavy swatch (which is expected) but there is some green sheen with the wetter nibs.
Some very nice shading on Robert Oster Bondi Blue. Sometimes some sharp edges or softer gradients depending on the nib. There is no feathering.
As with Azurite there is no practical bleeding with Robert Oster Bondi Blue and only some expected bleeding on the heavy swatch. There is some pretty pink sheen with the wetter nibs.
Irish green presents richly with some very decent shading and no feathering at all.
Again, no bleeding apart from where it’s expected (and still not much). There is some subtle silver sheen on the wettest nibs but is otherwise sheen-free (as expected for the ink which usually doesn’t present with any).
Bungubox Omotesando Blue is a generally flat ink without much sheen. There still not much shading here but there is a tiny amount. No feathering still!
No bleeding except where expected and there’s still very little there! The ink presents in the swatch with some nice dual-sheen with some desaturated magenta-red and green. On the written lines there is some magenta-red sheen on most nibs to various degrees which is decent for this ink!
Some strong shading with crisp contrast with Diamine Skull & Roses. There’s again no feathering.
There is no bleeding apart from where it is expected and still very little there. This is a super-sheening ink of sorts but what is pretty (though not particularly practical) is some vibrant blue-turquoise sheen than formed (eventually - not straight after drying!) with the very wet portions of the heavy swatch. Every written line has some noticeable sheen.
Noodler’s Pushkin is a a fairly poor performing ink. It usually feathers and/or spreads, it usually bleeds and it usually looks splotchy. This ink should not be used to judge the paper poorly but it should be used to judge it well (if the ink performs well). Pushkin does actually perform decently. There is a little spread (the lines are thicker here than the same nibs with other inks) but it’s not that bad at all! There is no feathering here either. The ink is still a little splotchy but again not too bad.
There is almost no bleeding anywhere, including the heavy swatch. This ink, with usually bleeds like crazy has almost the least bleeding on this paper, which is a surprise. There is even some gold sheen on the heavy swatch even though there is none at all on the written line.
All of these perform normally from what I can see. The bleeding is almost non-existent with the Sharpie which is pretty decent because it bleeds through a lot of papers including 52gsm Tomoe River!
Is this "The World's Most Ink Friendly Notebook"? Well there’s no way to actually answer that because it's simply too subjective. Some people might consider a sheen-friendly ink to be less ink friendly than a paper that produces no sheen. However I think I can say that it is objectively one of the most ink-friendly papers available. Personally I prefer writing on 52gsm Tomoe River but I can certainly appreciate why many people prefer this 68gsm Tomoe River. The customisation (or differences) with this 68gsm Tomoe River paper has also improved the paper, for my mind.
It doesn’t sheen as much as 52gsm Tomoe River but does shade more. "The World's Most Ink Friendly Notebook" is a big statement and I think the paper performs well enough for such an over-the-top statement! This is a well made, feature-rich, light and thin 192-page Notebook. You can’t go wrong with it.
The Endless Recorder goes for AU$29 in Australian stores, €21.95 in Europe, and US$22.95 in US stores. The Pen World has the notebook for Rs. 1099 but for International (non-Indian) orders they point you to the Endless website which adjusts the currency based on your location (so check it out to find how much it costs for you!).
Thanks again for The Pen World for sending the Notebook for review!
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I received this notebook free of charge for the purpose of giving an honest review. I was not otherwise compensated and everything here is my own honest opinion. There are no affiliate links.