Midori MD Notebook Review: Beautiful White Cover

I live in Japan, and I have used various high-quality notebooks in my life. Midori MD notebook is one of the most popular notebooks made in Japan. I’ve done an in-depth thorough review to find why everyone is fascinated by Midori MD notebooks.

Midori MD notebook

Size & Price

Available in four sizes:

SizePrice (inclusive tax)
A4 variantH275 × W210 × D10mmJP ¥1,760
A5H210 × W148 × D10mmJP ¥880
B6 slim (shinsyo)H175 × W105 × D10mmJP ¥770
A6 (bunko)H148 × W105 × D10mmJP ¥660

Appearance

midori md notebook logo
midori md notebook back cover

The look is very minimalistic, with no extra decoration. Even the Midori brand logo is discreetly embossed. The spine is covered with cheesecloth (gauze-like woven cotton), an unusual feature that gives the notebook a unique look and feel, despite its simple binding.

midori md notebook spine
midori md notebook first page
midori md notebook stickers

The bookmark on its back adds a touch of color to the plain white notebook. Its color depends on the size of the notebook or the type of paper so that you can choose from a wide range of color variations. And the notebook also includes stickers for the index.

Paper type

There are three types of papers:

  • Plain
  • 7mm Ruled
  • 5mm Grid
midori md notebook with 5mm grid
5mm Grid

The 7mm Ruled has a slightly darker line in the middle of the notebook, which allows us to divide the pages in two according to our needs. The 5mm Grid is different from the usual design, with a bit of space between each grid, making it look less assertive than the other dot grid notebooks.

Page

Pages in the middle
Page in the end

The pages are 176 in all sizes, easy to carry but voluminous enough. Personally, around this volume is ideal for me. The notebook is bound with thread binding and can be opened in a perfectly horizontal position, even around the begging or end of the notebook. I have used many notebooks in my life, and this one is the best in terms of opening horizontally.

Texture

Midori’s original “MD paper” has a cream color which is easy on the eyes. The texture is smooth but somewhat rough and is particularly suitable for those who want to write each letter clearly or use fountain pens. If you like to jot down quickly, you may find the resistance of the paper a little concerned.

Writing Test

Here is a writing test with permanent & non-permanent ballpoint pens and highlighters.

midori md notebook writing test front
midori md notebook writing test back

No bleed-through at all. There is some ghosting, but not that much interruption for writing.

What is MD paper?

MD paper has a long history of development and improvement since the 1960s, and this cream paper for Midori MD notebooks was first made in 2006.

“MD PAPER Cream was launched in 2006. With a warmer color that is gentle on the eye, this paper is ideal for writing with a fountain pen. It also has the perfect balance between smoothness and a little resistance, ensuring comfort and making writing a pleasure.”

source: www.midori-japan.co.jp

Some Features I Noticed

Almost like a hardcover

The cover is very thick and hard as it’s made of cardboard. So it gives me a feeling of a hardcover notebook. Thanks to this cover, the book opens very horizontally, which is great if you want to use it on your desk. But if you like to hold it in your hand and flip through the pages like a softcover book, it can be a bit difficult to use.

Durability of bookmark

As you can see, the bookmark is exposed on the spine, so I hesitate to use the notebook roughly or pull the bookmark too hard. So far, it hasn’t come off, but that’s a little concern. For those who are worried, I recommend using it with a book cover.

Easily get dirty

I have seen other people’s MD notebooks with stains when used without a book cover because of their pure white appearance. For this reason, I also bought a Córdoba paper book cover by Midori.

midori paper notebook cover
midori paper book cover logo

It looks so stylish like made of leather at first glance, but it’s actually made of paper. So, it’s light and reasonably priced at JP ¥990 (about US $9) for A5 size.

midori plastic notebook cover
midori book cover pen holder

The cheapest book covers are also available in clear plastic with a pen holder (JP ¥330). But, be careful about the pen holder, which is relatively small and can only hold pens up to around 11mm in diameter.

How To Buy?

Amazon

Amazon has a wide range of Midori products on the list. Since Amazon outside of Japan has higher pricing compared to the regular price, buying from Amazon Japan is the cheapest option. Still, we need to take into account the cost of international delivery.

↓Here is how to buy from Amazon Japan.

Physical Stores

On the Midori website, you can find physical stores carrying MD paper products around the world. You may find a store selling MD notebooks in your neighborhood.

Other MD Paper Products

Midori’s product range is really diverse, and there are other products with MD papers. If you find MD notebooks too thick for you to carry around, I recommend “MD notebook light”, a set of three thin notebooks with only 48 pages. The product range also includes “MD Notebook Journal” with dot grid, which is ideal for bullet journals, and “MD Notebook Cotton” for watercolors and drawings. There are many other stationery products for office and private use.

Overall Score

Overall Score: 4.2 / 5

The appearance and ease of use are perfect. Depending on the type of pen you use, ghosting may be an issue for some people. The bookbinding is excellent, so we don’t have to worry about the durability of the notebook or the pages. But, we do have to be careful about stains due to the plain white cover.

Hope this Midori MD notebook review was helpful for you. And if you’ve never used Midori MD Notebooks, you should definitely give them a try!

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