Mixed Results With A Mead Comp Book


The test scan tells the tale of the fountain pen ink and the Mead Composition Book. The smooth paper ought to behave better but the performance is about what you would expect from a low-end product.

Mead Composition Book

At 100 sheets/200 pages, the show-through and bleed-through limit use to one side so it isn’t exactly a bargain. Still the low amount of feathering with some inks means this comp book has its uses.

Mead Composition Book with Fountain Pen Ink


The designs for the cardboard covers are simple if youthful and the college ruling will work well for most writers. The dimensions are 9.75 x 7.5 inches and will lay flat after a little use. The notebook comes with a stitched binding concealed by a cloth strip which is typical for any composition book.

My comp book was made in Vietnam in 2012 so another run might have different properties. For $1.50 at Target stores, you just might find a slot for it in your paper arsenal.



  1. Rohrer & Klinger inks will bleed like it’s tissue paper & soak through multiple sheets.


    • Is that just on the Mead Comp Book or other brands of paper? I haven’t found R&K to be problematic on Rhodia or Apica but that’s a rather limited selection.


      • Mead & some heavier (100 g) sketchbook papers.


        • Overall I like R&K ink and it is overdue for a review. Now that you have tipped me off to the potential for performance issues, I’ll put the colors I have through more testing before writing about the brand.

          Thanks, Beth. It certainly helps to have feedback. 🙂


          • It does beautifully on papers designed for FP ink, but fails miserably on the cheap Asian papers sold in most big box stores. Yellow legal pads turn into a blobby mess.


            • Much testing ahead, me thinks.


              • The colors are so pretty, you’ll enjoy doing it.


  2. How are fountain pens with those blue comp books often used for exams?


    • Results certainly vary. I only have a few 1996 Mead comp books for comparison and the paper was quite good back then. No experience with the current lot besides the one reviewed.


    • Depends on the nib size & ink. I might get away with an M nibbed Carene & Waterman or Montblanc inks, which are formulated to be reliable on cheaper paper. If you can afford Iroshizuku, I’m finding it reliable on most papers. But I’d carry a rollerball or gel pen if you’re sitting important exams.


  3. Clicking on the “front view” photo leads to an enlargement of the “back view” photo. The back view photo also correctly leads to an enlargement of the back view. I always like to check out enlargements of your front view photos for details. 🙂


    • It was a WordPress glitch that tied the front and back images together and insisted that they both link to the same image for enlargement. It did not show up when I checked the links before posting yesterday. Inserting a few characters between the images handled the problem even if it looks dumb. 😛


  4. I’ve enjoyed looking through your blog! Check out Sunshine Pen Pals and join the fun!


  5. It appears that the Zhivago doesn’t bleed through the page very much. Do you believe that is a characteristic of the ink or of the nib you happened to of used?


    • Thanks a good question, Mark. I did a quick test on Moleskine with the Parker ’51’ and Noodler’s Zhivago. To my delight, there was minimal feathering, much less than with other inks except Noodler’s Black in a Levenger True Writer fine which performed similarly. Show-through and bleed-through were almost non-existent with both but very evident with other inks. Some time ago I wrote a full page in the same Moleskine with the same ’51’ and J. Herbin Vert Empire. There was minimal feathering but slightly more show-through and bleed-through. So I would credit the ink slightly more than the nib for the above average performance on Moleskine paper. That pen is my favorite for Moleskine use. That could be because it writes slightly dry or because it is comfortable to use or because the nib is just the right size for the line spacing. But anything that works on Moleskine should work well most everywhere else.

      Dang. Is that confusing or what!


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