Penny Choose: Ryman soft cover notebooks

Time for more Treats Under a Tenner, and today we are venturing into the aesthetically pleasing world of stationery porn. If you drool over Moleskine and designer notebooks but find yourself balking at the price tag then today’s affordable treat is especially for you.

Ryman soft cover notebooks Moleskine similar dupes

I get through an awful lot of notebooks and sketch books, and if I went down the premium paper route it would take a huge chunk out of my expenses budget that could be better spent elsewhere. However, I’m always on the lookout for attractive alternatives of reasonable quality and this whole soft cover range from Ryman completely hits the spot.

This collection of notebooks, sketch books, address books and diaries is very attractive indeed, and I don’t think it’s unreasonable to suggest that it has been strongly inspired by Moleskine and one or two other premium manufacturers. However, they aren’t a direct rip-off because most of the exact colours of the Ryman soft covers are shades that aren’t made by the competition.

Prices start at £3.45 for a mini sketch book, and the most expensive item in the range is £6.99, so it’s all well under the £10 mark. In the picture above, from left to right:

  • Ryman large A4 ruled soft cover notebook in purple, £6.99. Also available in black, orange and teal.
  • Ryman A6 ruled pocket-sized soft cover notebook in teal, £4.99. Also available in orange, pink, purple, black and brown.
  • Ryman A6 soft cover address book in pink, £4.99. Also available in purple, black and brown.
  • Ryman medium A5 ruled soft cover notebook in black, £5.99. Also available in pink and purple. The equivalent Moleskine product is £12.99 so this is less than half the price.
  • Ryman 2014-2015 mid-year soft cover diary in lime, £6.99. Also available in orange, grey and black.

The big question, though, is this: are they bog-standard scratchy paper under those mouth-watering covers? In the interests of research I went and stood in Ryman’s last week, stroking the pages of the own-brand and designer versions and checking the transparency of the leaves. So you didn’t have to, obviously. Not because I’m overly fond of paper goods or anything. Got some funny looks from the shop assistants but it was so worth it.

The Ryman version, I can confirm, is a nice quality acid-free paper stock that performs in near-identical fashion. Phew! The one minor niggle I do have is that the covers of Ryman versions are slightly more likely to wrinkle at the corners if you handle them less than gently, although this is a general issue with all softcover notebooks.

What do you think? Do you have a favourite colour or type? 

Similar Posts


  1. Hi Becky. Me too – I have one of the medium-sized ones in the purple colourway on the go at the moment, and have my eye on a couple more already…

  2. These gorgeous notebooks are half price at the moment, even more reason to treat myself to one or two.

Comments are closed.