The Field Notes quarterly release for fall 2016 is a love letter to the moon. This edition is chock full of lunar lore and facts about our friend in the sky. It came out very close to the end of the quarter, so as I write this review, the winter 2016 edition, Black Ice, has been announced yet none are in the wild that I've seen, unless someone did a local pickup at FNHQ in Chicago. This tends to be the trend for the time between fall and winter releases.
Lunacy is quite normal compared to the rest of the 2016 quarterly releases. It is the standard pocket notebook size and shape (unlike Byline) and uses a somewhat standard paper (unlike Sweet Tooth). It is the standard folded and 3-staple bound (unlike the brand new Black Ice). But past that, this release is anything but boring.
The cover features a die-cut in the front to show the moon on the secondary inner cover page behind it in various stages of how we see the moon: full, half, and crescent. The subscriber extra is a fourth book with a plain black cover, with no die-cut. This book still has the secondary inner cover page featuring the moon graphic and facts. Remove this page and you have an embossed version of Raven's Wing. Each of the four books also comes with a letterpress embossed moon on the back cover.
Black Field Notes are very popular. This is the third quarterly release that has featured black prominently, along with the Pitch Black becoming an everyday release. The Winter 2016 release is named Black Ice, but not having seen one, I think this is more chrome mirrored than black in the photos. Letterpress embossed are popular too, and these hit both notes.
I was worried about how the covers would hold up in my pocket, particularly the full moon book. In the end, Field Notes are pocket notebooks, and if they don't stand up to being in a pocket, what good are they? Well, so far, so good. These are 100# covers with a little bit of stippling texture on them. They have been doing nothing except for bending and fuzzing up in the pocket, like they all do. And the secondary cover helps protect the hole left by the die cut.
The paper is the faintest of gray with a light gray reticle grid ruling. It is 60#. The inner cover is 70# glossy paper. It has a decent tooth and holds pencil well. It also erases well with no noticeable smudging or removing of ruling. No noticeable feathering or bleed with either of my fountain pens and no smearing with gel ink. I do like this paper, but I am not a fan of reticle grid, or any grid for that matter. My handwriting is big and I attack the page, so having a line-ruled book is always my preference. More on this in a later post. I know I am in the minority here.
Overall, I'm happier with this edition than I was been with the two previous 2016 quarterly editions. I'm glad to get back to normal size and normal paper. I don't mind that there is experimentation going on, but it's nice to get back to a usable, pocketable notebook that will take any writing instrument I give it. We subscribers don't get to enjoy this one very long, however, because the Winter edition had already been announced and should hit our mailboxes any day now. I will try to get a review for it up as quickly as I can, but I also like to have time with these books to know what I think before I write about it.
What are your thoughts? Leave it in the comments below!
Available from Field Notes, $12.95