Friday, August 6, 2010

An Old Favourite: Quo Vadis Habana Notebook

I have two Quo Vadis Habanas, and both are among my most frequently-used notebooks, having a permanent home in the corner of my desk.  Both are the small versions (10x15cm) - the perfect size for slipping into my backpack or desk drawer.  The red one is lined and I use it mainly for planning blog posts, making to-do lists, jotting down the titles of books that I want to read, etc.  The black one is unlined; I use it for my daily journal.

The Habanas are great little notebooks with a sturdy yet flexible cover, elastic closure, and back pocket (which I think could be eliminated - I never use these pockets).  The paper is a pleasing off-white tone, a welcome change from the bright white of many other notebooks.  In the lined version, the lines are about 6mm apart (just right) and are a pale grey colour that makes them very unobtrusive.  The lines do not run to the very edge of the page.

The paper is smooth and thin.  All of my pens write very well on the paper, although, due to the thinness, there is some showthrough with all my pens.  The only ones in the writing sample that bled through were the Pilot V5 Hi-Tecpoint (the worst offender), the Pentel EnerGel (very slight), and the Sharpie Pen (very slight).  No feathering at all - all the lines were crisp and the colours bright.

I love my Habanas, and I was very sad to see that my university bookstore no longer seems to sell them.  Luckily, I know of one stationery store in my area that still does.  I do, though, have a question: are the Habanas sold in Canada different from those sold in the United States?  I know that the packaging is different.  This has always confused me, so if some kind person could enlighten me on this I would be very thankful.

Overall, the Quo Vadis Habana is an excellent notebook that remains one of my favourites.

Related reviews: Gourmet Pens, Unposted, Black Cover, Lady Dandelion, BTI Books, The Pen Hunter, Life Imitates Doodles.


  1. The large Habanas are different - I just checked at my university bookstore recently and they still have the thin, off-white paper with narrow ruling, as opposed to the thicker white wide rule of the US version.

    My understanding is that the small Habana, however, is the same in both countrie - cream 64 g paper, but that is supposed to change in the next year or so. I'm not sure how I feel about that - for the small notebook, I really like the thinner paper.

    If you like, I have a more detailed US-Canada Habana comparison on my blog, but probably more than you need to know :) and actually since then, I have used Canadian Habanas with much nicer (but still thin) paper.

  2. Thanks for that information, Sophie - it helped to clarify things for me.

    I'm not sure how I feel about the change in the paper of the small Habanas either - I really love the feel of the thin paper. There is just something about it that I can't really describe but that I really like.

  3. Hi Heather — the Habanas have apparently changed effective early 2011: both the large and small Habanas sold in North America will have 85 g ivory paper, just like the European ones. Also, I'm quite sure, both the large and small lined Habanas will have the narrower line spacing of about 5.5 mm.

    Reportedly, the ivory colored paper looks similar to Rhodia's webnotebook paper. Personally I love this change as I'm not too keen on bright white paper, or wide line spacing.

    I'm assuming the Habanas sold in Canada will be these specs, also, as the info I read said "North America" but not sure.

  4. Thanks, HC! I believe the Habanas sold in Canada always had the ivory paper (although, curiously, my camera made it look white!). I love the ivory paper and narrow lines as well, so I'm glad to see all Habanas getting the same design.


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