I have used fountain pens all my life. And when, unconsciously, you pick up your pen every time you want to write something, you end up being less finicky about complements like ink or paper. You do grow deep-rooted likes and dislikes, in your subconscious you may even grow antipathies and resentments about some paper types or inks, but you are kind of okay with most things. However, that is not the case with serious hobbyists. They must have everything perfect before they ink up and put their pens on paper. The lengths that they will go to, just to ensure that their writing environment is flawless, may look a tad bit quirky to uninitiated eyes but is fascinating to people like us, who populate the fringes of their space but have not yet made it to their mainstream.
It is from these serious hobbyists that I am trying to strengthen my resolve to go to Earth’s end in order to match the perfect ink and paper to ensure that my writing experience is as enriched as it should be. Yes, at times the search proves to be elusive and therefore, ends up being a frustrating experience, but in the end, the hard work is all vindicated, with the end justifying the means.
The Endless Observer notebook is one such delightful voyage that I have embarked upon, thanks to my hobbyist friends, who have been signing peans about it. Not that I needed their prodding – I have been an Endless fan for what seems like ages now, and have used many of their products for endless hours of unadulterated fun – but I guess, an acknowledgment will do no harm.
The Endless Observer has many things going for it: it is made using the iconic Regalia paper, providing the user with 80 gsm surfaces of acid-free sheer writing pleasure. The page layout is dotted and unobtrusive, yet serves the purpose of providing just the right amount of grid support. At 8.2” by 5.8” the size is handy for marrying convenience with writing pleasure. And what is perhaps the most important attribute: its stitching is club class, the Endless Observer lying flat on the surface from day one. The paper has a kind of stiffness about it and somehow reminds one of the pukka sahibs of yore – its feeling kind of grows on you as you start using it at length. As for the look and feel – the subtle khaki cover, with the spot laminated design and just that hint of gold on the headline, makes it eye candy, something designed to make one fall in love at first sight. A very creatively thought out and designed product that has been packaged absolutely professionally – bang for your buck, if you may. Point is, I won’t think twice before buying another.
I have put mine in an extreme kind of test – using it for testing different kinds of inks and am happy to note that the Observer has held its own, despite the rigors through which it has been hauled, often mercilessly. Mind you, it was designed to act as a notebook, one that will be used for writing. And the ink daps, often very wet drops that have kind of bled through to the other end, are as much due to the different characteristics of the inks that have been tested, as anything else. Then again, after the ink dried, I applied water on parts to see how the colour pigments held their ground (or is it paper?) When written on with fountain pens, even using the same inks, there is neither bleed-through nor ghosting, leave alone feathering. As a notebook to write on, I have no qualms in stating, the Endless Observer performs admirably.
While this Endless Observer has been used for testing inks primarily and will, over time become my kind of ink album, it will be an exception, not the rule as I am basically a writer, and though I doodle often, even using my writing surfaces with play with inks, the primary purpose of using notebooks is to write on. And as a notebook to write on, the Endless Observer is a winner, pens down.
One of the major complaints of fountain pen users is the abject lack of good, fountain pen-friendly stationery. Most of us have been forced in the past to use sheets that are very thick, or have been denuded with problems of paper fibre clogging our tines or even the chemicals in the paper playing truant with the inks which many of us feel, are the extension of our personalities, reflectors of our mood for the moment. The paper of Endless Observer, like I said, feels yummy, the colour is bright instead of being an eyesore, and the texture seems just right.
Dear Endless Observer – my inks and pens and I love you.
For the video visit: Endless Observer – ink tests of another kind – YouTube
You can visit their website here: https://in.madebyendless.com/