At this year's Atlanta Pen Show (way back in April, yes I know) I had the opportunity to check out Italian brand Stifflexible's updated line of notebooks. The primary selling point of Stifflexible Notebooks is the cover: it's a hardcover notebook that "flexes," making it easier to cram into an overstuffed briefcase or backpack without permanently damaging the cover. Not a major selling point for everybody, but I can see where it could come in handy for certain people. Stifflexible notebooks are made by the same company as Giuliano Mazzuoli pens, and are distributed by Luxury Brands USA, who regularly attend pen shows with a full display of these notebooks in tow.
Stifflexible Notebooks contain 192 pages of 80g ivory paper, which handles fountain pen ink quite well. 144 of those pages are lined, 32 are blank, and 16 are perforated graph. If you don't like lined paper, you're out of luck: I've not seen any all-blank or all-graph versions, but I can only assume that may be in the works at some point down the line. I'd personally love to see a notebook full of perforated graph paper. If you've tried Stifflexible notebooks in the past and did not have a great experience with fountain pens, the paper has recently been upgraded in response to customer feedback. The paper in my notebook handled pretty much any nib and ink combo I was able to throw at it, including a very wet medium loaded with Colorverse. (I don't typically write with anything much broader on a daily basis.)
Takeaways and Where to Buy
These are very nice notebooks with good paper; my one quibble being the lack of all-graph or all-blank options. The flexible cover isn't something that I necessarily need, but I can see how it would come in handy for students or road warriors who have to lug around an overstuffed bag. The cover art on these books is extremely well done, and I love the gold Paris Metro Map cover that I chose. A wide range of other designs are also available, as you can see from the Luxury Brands pen show display below. I may very well pick up a couple more this coming weekend in D.C.!
Anderson Pens carries the full line of Stifflexible notebooks in a range of sizes from extra large all the way to small/pocket. (The notebook pictured here is the "medium" size, which is A5-ish and measures 5" x 8 1/4".) Pricing is $29 for the extra large, $18 for the large, $16.50 for the medium, and $11.50 for the small, all of which is a fairly standard price point for notebooks of this quality.
Disclaimer: I received the notebook featured in this review from Luxury Brands USA, the Stifflexible Distributor, free of charge for review purposes. I was not otherwise compensated for this review.