The Habana is available in three sizes: A4 (large), A5 (compact), and A6 (pocket). At 21 x 29.7 cm or 8 1/4 x 11 5/8 inches (A4 size), this large Habana is definitely the largest bound notebook that I have ever used - so much so that I actually feel a bit intimidated by it. The cover has a leather-like texture and it is firm but still relatively flexible. I actually prefer the Habana cover to the cover of the Rhodia Webnotebook, as it seems to be less likely to show scuffs and scratches. The covers of the small Habanas that I have been carrying around with me for the last four years still look like new, while the cover of the Webnotebook that I haven't been using for as long has a number of minor scratches on it.
|From top to bottom: pocket (A6) sized Quo Vadis Habana, desk (A5) sized Rhodia Webnotebook, large (A4) sized Quo Vadis Habana.|
Inside, the endpapers of the Habana are made of the same paper as the interior pages, allowing you to use them as the first pages of your notebook, if you so desire. The paper is very smooth, with a lovely creamy ivory colour. This colour may not be to everyone's liking, but I like it, and it is more soothing and restful to look at than bright white. The Habana is also available with white pages. The smooth texture of the paper makes it truly a joy to write on with all kinds of pens, but because it is so smooth, inks are going to take longer to dry than on more absorbent papers. This isn't an issue with most of the pens that I use, but if you use bold, inky pens or if you are left-handed, please use caution when writing in this notebook!
|My test pages, with a Lamy Safari fountain pen for scale.|
The paper in the Habana is a bit thin, so most pens (especially the bolder, inkier ones) do show through at least slightly to the other side of the page. None of the pens I used actually bled through and only the Pilot Petit1 fountain pen showed even the slightest bit of feathering (and that pen seems to feather on just about all papers that I use it on).
As I mentioned, the Habana I'm using is the large, unlined version. Normally I prefer writing on plain paper over lined, but simply because of the size of this notebook I would hesitate to use it for a written journal. My handwriting is usually so small that I think it would look lost on such a large page unless I used wider-nibbed pens, which I don't really want to do. I will probably end up using this notebook as a sketchbook of some sort. With that mind, I also practiced drawing a mandala with my Pentel Pulaman fountain pen, Faber-Castell Pitt brush pen, and Pentel Slicci fine-tipped gel pen. It did feel freeing to have so much space to draw in, but I think it will take some time for me to become used to working in such a large notebook.
Overall, the Quo Vadis Habana is a great notebook that I can't find any major faults with. The paper may not be ideal for everyone, but I love it and this is a notebook that I will always enjoy using - although I am still not sure whether this large size is the ideal size for me. The Quo Vadis Habana is a notebook that I will not hesitate to recommend to anyone looking for a quality notebook.
Related reviews: Life Imitates Doodles, Plannerisms, Ink Nouveau.