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Showing 1-10 of 450 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 484 reviews
on September 7, 2016
Markings by C.R. Gibson Brown Ruled Paper Bonded Leather Journal (MJ5-4792)

EDIT: Updated 2/23/17. I re-ordered this journal and it is back to it's former glory! More ruled lines per page. No unruled margins. It's the same journal I have ordered multiple times. Very happy it's back. Will keep ordering this in the future.

ORIGINAL POST: I have ordered this journal (MJ5-4792) seven times in the past going back to 2013. I use it everyday at work. Until now I would have considered this a 5 star product. The most recent order (8/31/16) however has changed my opinion. The new page design doesn't work for me at all. There are fewer ruled lines per page. I preferred the thinner lines so I could get more writing per page. Also there is now a 1" un-ruled margin. The old version had no un-ruled margins. Again, that means much less writing space for me per page than the old version. The un-ruled margins may work for some people but it's wasted space for me. I will start looking for another product. If CR Gibson sells the old version I will continue to buy that and change my rating to 5 starts. It would have been nice for them to use a different model number if they were going to make this kind of change. I click "buy again" on Amazon for items that I like, but this is now a different product. They should include a picture of the new page design on the Amazon product page. I have included my own photo which shows the old MJ5-4792 on the left and the new MJ54792 on the right.
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44 comments| 75 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 21, 2011
[Amazon recently combined pages for two products: the MJ3 and MJ5. This review is for the smaller MJ3]

The sizes given in Amazon's Product Details and Product Description are contradictory. The correct size for the cover is 3.5" x 5.5" and the paper is a slightly smaller. Thickness is about 1/2".

192 pages means 96 sheets. Paper is cream-colored, smooth uncoated, strong but thin with a lot of show through. Lines are dark grey. Line-spacing is a bit tight--under 7/32", giving 20 lines to write in plus top and bottom margins of approximately 1/2" each.

Well made. Binding uses sewn signatures. Does not lie flat.

Covers are stiff but bendable cardboard covered with "genuine bonded leather." Translation: "real fake leather." The label says, "80% genuine cowhide leather fibers and 20% non-leather materials." I guess that's fake leather composed of bits and pieces of real leather and other stuff. "Genuine bonded leather" is reminiscent of the furniture retailers' expression, "solid engineered wood." I.e., sawdust and glue. Anyway, it looks okay and smells like leather.

Made in China.

These are a good deal at $6 to $7, but in the past Amazon's price has spiked to $15. They are way overpriced at that point. The brown and black versions are often priced differently. Currently, the brown version is almost double the price of the black.
55 comments| 221 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 9, 2015
It looks good, for sure, but as some other reviewers have said, the paper leaves a lot to be desired. A standard gel ballpoint does show through quite a bit. I also would have preferred a harder cover. It's not totally "floppy" but definitely not substantial. I do like the elastic to keep it closed and hold my pen. It's just ok. I'll fill it up then look for a different one next time.

Update: Dropped this from 3 stars to 2. Today, after using it less than a week, I took it with me to lunch, and left it in the car. It's about 90 degrees out, but certainly not scorching. When I came back, the cover was curling and the binding had twisted. This is not what I had hoped for and not what other reviews had lead me to believe this is. If this is going to be sitting anywhere other than your desk or nightstand, look elsewhere.
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0Comment| 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 28, 2011
I wanted a leather back journal but Amazon did not describe the other ones very well enough for me to purchase. This journal was described well by both Amazon and the other reviewers. It suits my needs perfectly and I couldn't ask for anything better. Here are some pros and cons for this item:
Pros:
The leather is as tough as a hardcover. (It is made of 80% cowhide and 20% nonleathers, whatever that means)
There is a pocket in the inside back to hold pages and other items.
Thin ribbon bookmark to save your pages.
Elastic band to keep your journal shut.
Cons:
The page lines are narrow ruled and unperforated. It is not a school notebook after all.
The pages bleed through if you use a marker or thick pen.
The pages are not a bright white, but more of a cream or off white.
The journal is small. If you want to know the exact size. Get a sheet of computer paper, turn it sideways, and fold it half. That's the size of this journal.
55 comments| 279 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 22, 2016
Love this journal; I am on my 6th one. But beware the the color option "Large Black" is the MJ5-4791 and the color option "Small Black" is the MJ3-4791. External dimensions are identical, but the page lines are different -- see attached photos. The MJ5 has 26 lines per page, and the MJ3 has 32 lines per page.
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0Comment| 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 25, 2017
I ordered this and the moleskin Large. This cover is much more durable to water damage, sweaty or dirty paws, & book bag shoving. This book has fewer pages & therefore is much more portable in pocket...big pocket--think apron or scrubs. It's a well-made book & the back pocket is super handy for time-card or necessary loose sheets. The band keeps the book closed and therefore all the pages & the covers protected from unwanted folding or crunching. The place marker keeps it speedy to open to your next entry. Nice paper weight.

I only wish they made a plain page one--no grid, not ruled.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 21, 2011
[Amazon recently combined pages for two products: the MJ3 and MJ5. This review is for the smaller MJ3]

The sizes given in Amazon's Product Details and Product Description are contradictory. The correct size for the cover is 3.5" x 5.5" and the paper is a slightly smaller. Thickness is about 1/2".

192 pages means 96 sheets. Paper is cream-colored, smooth uncoated, strong but thin with a lot of show through. Lines are dark grey. Line-spacing is a bit tight--under 7/32", giving 20 lines to write in plus top and bottom margins of approximately 1/2" each.

Well made. Binding uses sewn signatures. Does not lie flat.

Covers are stiff but bendable cardboard covered with "genuine bonded leather." Translation: "real fake leather." The label says, "80% genuine cowhide leather fibers and 20% non-leather materials." I guess that's fake leather composed of bits and pieces of real leather and other stuff. "Genuine bonded leather" is reminiscent of the furniture retailers' expression, "solid engineered wood." I.e., sawdust and glue. Anyway, it looks okay and smells like leather.

Made in China.

These are a good deal at $6 to $7, but in the past Amazon's price has spiked to $12. They are way overpriced at that point.
22 comments| 22 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 4, 2014
I've purchased the other Markings journal, model MJ14-14016AZ, several times. The black one without an elastic strap. At the time of purchasing this journal, and writing this review, that black journal has a wait time of 3 to 5 weeks to ship? So I said "screw that" and got this journal. If you're looking at this journal for the same reason, I can compair the two.

Pros of this journal: Elastic strap is cool, the leather seems to be more resistant to scratches, there's a 1/8" manila folder type compartment in the back that seems sturdy.

Cons of this journal: The pages are smaller height and width than the black journal and are MUCH thinner, cheaper paper stock. Using my normal journal pen, a Pilot V5 gel pen, it bleeds through slightly to the opposite side of the page. If you were to use a ballpoint pen, this wouldn't be a problem. But... I love gel pens. I haven't used a ballpoint pen in years. The larger black Markings journal NEVER bled through.

So, I guess I'm a little disappointed with the paper. Oh well, it's not that big a deal.

I'd recommend you go out and check out journals in person and see if you can get a $10 journal with what feels like high quality paper. Because the pocket, the strap, all of that is fancy and nice, but in my opinion the quality of the paper is the most important feature to look at.

I probably wouldn't recommend this product for that fact alone, but still get it 3 stars for being exactly what they claimed it to be.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 15, 2016
I have purchased this in the past and was surprised to get a different version with un-ruled margins on the sides of the pages. Before I ordered online I went to the C.R. Gibson website to verify the model # and see photos of the inside pages. The C.R. Gibson website lists the model # as MJ5R-9485 but has a note under the product information section that says "This journal is the same as MJ5-4791." The C.R. Gibson website also had photos of the inside pages with thinner ruled lines and no un-ruled margin. Assuming they would be identical (like the photo) I ordered the "MJ5-4791" from Amazon. Definitely disappointed with the new un-ruled margin...this product is not as advertised.

I went ahead and ordered the MJ5R-9485 directly from the C.R. Gibson website and it is exactly as advertised (the model I wanted) with no un-ruled margin and it has the thinner ruled lines.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 3, 2013
It's trendy, I know, to talk about a "dining experience," a "shopping experience," etc. I think marketing agencies have come up with that terminology to appeal to us. It really fits with some things, however. Reading a real, hardback book is one. The experience of sitting down in a comfortable chair with a hardback book is substantially different from standing on a bus reading the same thing off an e-reader on a smartphone. Location and physical materials do affect the experience.

Another place the materials matter is writing. Yes, you can write something in a blog, or if you use paper, yes you can use notebook paper or a legal pad and put the sheets in a manilla folder. But writing in a bound book is just DIFFERENT. That's why blank books are continually popular with a segment of the knowing, literate public.

Now to this little book. The Gibson note books are quality bound, with a look and feel that somehow inspires writing. I keep one in a private office at work to make a daily page of inspirational notes. I have another at home for a journal. I will take another--the larger size--with me this coming summer when I ride my motorcycle from the east coast to Sturgis, SD. Every evening, I'll take it out and record the day's sights and sounds. It packs neatly and compactly. It isn't too short for the job or too long--leaving wasted pages that I wouldn't want to use for an unrelated subject. It's just perfect.

And as I say, a little book like this inspires writing. I write with a fountain pen. While the paper is perhaps optimal for a ballpoint, it does just fine with a fine point, italic ground nib. I imagine that's why Sheaffer had some of these same books done up with their imprint a few years ago.

As Arnold said, "I'll be back."
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