Today I'm going to share my favorite notebook of all time with you: the Nanami Crossfield notebook. I purchased my first about a year and a half ago, and since then I've purchased and used another four. You can find the notebook on the Nanami Paper website here. On the top is the blank version (also known as the Standard), with the brown cover. Two Crossfields, which are the cross dot grid version, with the red cover, are on the bottom. My Crossfield is the original version, but Nanami is now selling the second version of the Crossfield, which has a full gird instead of the cross dot grid. When I purchased mine, they cost 26 dollars each, but the price has recently decreased to 24 dollars, which is fabulous for the amount of pages you get.
According to the Nanami Paper website, here are the Crossfield's stats:
- Flexible, semi-stiff coated fabric cover.
- Smythe-sewn (thread-bound), lay-flat binding
- White Tomoe River paper - lots and lots of it
- No cover printing or branding except for the back end sheet
- Comes with a kraft slip case
- Size A5, 210x148mm, 15mm thick, (8.3x5.8x0.7 inches)
- White-color (which is really an off-white) Tomoe River 52 gsm "Notebook" paper
- 5mm cross dot grid
- 480 pages (240 leaves), no lines, rounded corners
- Lay-flat thread binding
- Flexible, tough, thin water-resistant coated-fabric cover
- Ivory-colored end sheets
- Comes with one A5 blotter paper
- Made in Japan
The cover is unremarkable, but very functional. I frequently use notebook covers with the Crossfield. This one has been inside a Franklin Christoph book cover, which I will talk about another time. Once you start using the notebook, it doesn't always stay closed, as it doesn't have a bookmark or an elastic strap to keep it closed. This book does lay completely flat when open, which is amazing.
Top to bottom: Baron Fig Confidant, Leuchtturm 1917 A5, Rhodia Webnotebook, and the Nanami Crossfield. Comparison: The Crossfield is taller and wider than the Confidant, slightly wider than the Leuchtturm, and shorter and wider than the Rhodia. I love the dimensions of this book. Every A5 is a little bit different, but this size really works for me.
To give this book a thorough testing, the first thing I wanted to try was liquid watercolor. I've been loving Dr. Ph Martin's Hydrus watercolors lately, so I started throwing a bunch of ink at the page.
The paper took the ink amazingly well. there is a little bit of crinkling to the page, but that's to be expected. You can see the impressions in the paper from the writing on the other side of the page, but that doesn't really bother me.
After watercolor, I used fountain pen ink. This is Robert Oster Ryde Green. The paper shows the shading really well.
This is Robert Oster Blue Water Ice. The paper shows all of that amazing pink sheen.
Lines of fountain pen ink have medium show through on the other side.
Writing with fountain pen ink definitely has show through on the other side. Depending on the ink, the show through ranges from low to high. I would say Ryde Green has medium show through, except for the swab at the bottom.
Next I tried markers and highlighters sitting on my desk.
I would still use the back side of the page if I used the highlighters, but not the markers.
Next I tested pens, both pigment and gel based.
The pens had show through on the other side, but not so bad that the other side isn't useable.
Finally, I used pencils-just a random assortment I've been using.
The paper a bit too smooth for my taste with the pencils, but does moderately well.
My ideal notebook would be Tomoe River paper, A5 size, lays completely flat, has a dot grid or graph ruling, a sturdy cover that doesn't stain easily, has numbered pages, and doesn't cost an arm and a leg. The Nanami Crossfield delivers on every requirement except the page numbers.
I supported the Hippo Noto Notebook on Kickstarter, and I can't wait to try it and compare it to my Crossfield. As of right now, the Crossfield is my favorite notebook I've ever tried.
Disclaimer: I purchased this notebook myself, and all photos and opinions are my own. This post does not contain affiliate links.