It’s the new year!
And what better time to post an update on something I’ve been meaning to do for a while. I don’t know if I’m going to make any resolutions besides the usual (try new recipes, keep fewer pens inked up, stop letting the dog eat food off the floor, stop dropping food on the floor), but this year I am trying to put a good effort into keeping up with the blog a bit better.
We’ve been carrying these MD Leather Goatskin Covers in A6, A5 and A4 for a while now, and I’ve been using them personally for about as long. They’ve been popping up on the Instagram every now any then, usually because they’re what I have close at hand.
One of the biggest concerns people have about the leather is its natural light colour, whitish pink when you first get it, and whether or not it will darken or warm up over time.
Midori published this colour chart as a guideline when they released the leather covers back in 2015.
The guide is nice, but it’s always nicer to see actual photos of real products, so you can get a better sense of what to expect. I thought I would share a few pictures of mine after around one year of use, compared to a new one out of the box.
With leather, like most natural products, I know it’s a bit hard to tell how it will change over time just by looking at pictures of it brand new. For me, it’s part of the charm of the quality of natural products, something that I really love about wood tables and leather bags.
The difference between the brand new and my one-year old one is very distinct – almost startling.
I use my A5 Cover with an A5 Stalogy notebook for my daily (or mostly daily) journaling. The great thing about these covers, and maybe about Japanese stationery in general, is that the cover fits a variety of Japanese A5 notebooks, such as the MD Notebooks from Midori, A5 Noble Notes from Life Stationery, A5 Stalogy notebooks and more.
I find a lot of A5-ish notebooks from European paper companies, like Rhodia, Leuchtturm, Quo Vadis, are all slightly different in size, in addition to the variations due to the bulk of their covers they come with, so it’s a bit harder to find a leather cover for them.
I use my A6 cover for my Hobonichi, which holds my gratitude journaling, and now for our daily ink swab.
I have my A4 leather cover for an MD notebook that I tape in pictures of Caleb and occasionally scribble in a few funny memories or moments. I haven’t been keeping up with that as much as I’d like, but I’m trying to get back into it, especially now that he’s a bit older and doing funny things more regularly.
I’ve been using these covers for around a year, and they’re warming up beautifully. They sort of have a warm golden caramel colour, and I can’t wait for them to get even darker over time.
It’s winter here, and the vitamin D seems a bit less accessible, but as summer comes around again, I may even consider letting them get a bit of a tan to darken even more, as the Midori colour guide shows. I’m not super set on that, as I also like the idea of these covers warming naturally based just on my hands and use.
Each cover started out quite surprisingly uniform, but over time, oils from my hand have darkened some areas more than others, and it’s a lovely thing to consider that these covers have held and will hold my physical journals and my writing and my thoughts for years.
There are a few spots here and there, and on one of them is a drop of ink that I don’t think is ever going to go away, but I love how scratches and marks appear and then slowly disappear or fade away as the cover makes its way through my hands.