William Hannah’s notebooks are among the finest you can buy and we have reviewed them before. Several Macfilos readers (including Jonathan Slack, I might add) found their way to William Hannah as a result of the article. Leica owners, who tend to be connoisseurs of fine craftsmanship, will absolutely love a WH notebook.
Features I’ve long been hoping for include a pen holder and some way of securing the leather covers. In answer to my prayers, William Hannah has produced a very neat combination of the two features. It is a leather sleeve designed to hold one pen, attached to an elasticated band which fits around the cover to keep everything in place.
The new pen sleeve and faster comes in all the popular colour combinations and costs a reasonable £29.
If you wish, you can customise the colours and pay £40. There are 8 leather colour choices, 12 interior suedes, 8 shades of elastic and no fewer than 17 stitching options. However, since I am hopeless when presented with such wide options and invariably make the wrong choice, I’m happy to stick with the stock colours.
I continue to be delighted with my William Hannah A5 notebooks. My first and my favourite example was a Christmas gift last December from my good friend George James, a lifelong Leics devotee. George sadly died a couple of weeks later after a long illness and he is still missed. Yet he couldn’t have given me a better present which is constantly on my desk and which is used for random notes as I work on Macfilos articles.
For many years I believed that stitched notebooks, from well-known manufacturers such as Moleskine, Leuchtturm and Rhodia, were the only choice for anyone who is dedicated to keeping handwritten records. Ring binders were always quite beyond the Pale as far as I was concerned — awkward, messy things.
But William Hannah has completely changed this perception. The larger A5 book uses eight fixed rings (that is, you cannot open them) while the smaller A5 model has six. The pages are stamped with holes featuring a narrow neck which fits snugly around the rings.
The big advantage of a loose-leaf system, of course, is that you can readily swap pages around, both within the notebook and to other leather books or archives. It’s easy to pull out a batch of pages and scan them (I use the excellent Fujitsu ScanSnap iX1500).
Thus you have the best of all worlds — the pleasure of writing on a wonderful paper surface and the convenience of a computerised archive. You can even perform optical character recognition to turn the pages into searchable PDFs, but this doesn’t work well with my handwriting. However, carefully written headlines or hashtags will be recognised.
Apart from the tactile seduction of the William Hannah covers and the ingenious ring-binder system, the crowning glory is the paper itself. I have tried notebooks from many manufacturers but none has come close to reproducing the weight, smoothness and sheer delight of Hannah pages.
All inserts are made from 100gsm paper designed for minimum bleed and feathering. There is a wide range of options, from plain to ruled or squared, and special pages such as dated journals and daily task lists.
William Hannah’s products are hand-made in Loughborough, Leicestershire, and invariably come with a handwritten welcome note from David Round, the inspiration behind the marque.
If you are looking for a Christmas present for yourself or someone close to you, look no further. Everyone loves a notebook.