There’s no worse feeling than returning to something that you had previously written off, only to find what you had left behind was not worth writing off in the first place. It makes me feel like a bit of a jerk.

Luckily, these Moleskine Soft-Cover Notebooks don’t hold any hard feelings.

I bought a two pack of Large Soft-Cover Volant notebooks when on my honeymoon in New York last July. The small Moleskine kiosk in The Shops at Columbus Circle was jampacked with Moleskine goods. I would thank the side-trip to this kiosk for kicking off an obsession with pen and paper products. But mostly, it’s these books that got things started.

The Volant comes in many different colours, but I stuck with the Colour of Truth. Greys and whites are near and dear to my heart, so I fell unabashedly in love with the dark Moleskine charcoal Volant. I actually put this book aside for the future in one of my “safety” cabinets.

Disappointingly though, these soft covers don’t take well to scratching. You can see in the photo above how scratches to the plasticky cover quickly accumulate over time.

As is standard across all Moleskine products, a few inner documents joined the notebooks in an unboxing. I’ve always liked the challenge of reading the many languages inside Moleskine’s documentation.

However, I don’t understand the point of that stupid blue sticker.

Sticking to the standard, Moleskine’s beautiful paper lines the walls of the Volant. I’ve talked about how much I like Moleskine’s paper in the past and this paper was the biggest treat when I returned to my Volant.

Moleskine’s paper is off-white and is very easy on the eyes. I enjoy using bright white Field Notes paper when at work, but that brightness can take its toll later in the day. I love sitting down next to a calm lamp with a cup of coffee late in the evening and writing on Moleskine’s off-white paper. What a treat.

There is slight show-through with a fine ballpoint. I haven’t had a chance to test any fountain pens on the paper, but overall, show-through is negligible and has no effect on the use of the paper.

I’ve stated throughout this review that I’ve had to “return” to my Volant notebooks. Why did I “return”?

I hate blank pages. Always have. Always will. I enjoy structure throughout my life and especially in my notebooks. Blank pages are completely useless to me.

But despite these blank pages, Moleskine’s paper sits at the top of my papers list.

Perhaps my favourite design feature of the Volant notebook is its ability to lay flat. As of today, this is the only notebook in my arsenal that lays flat and it only improves the more you use the book.

I wager the reason the book lays flat is because of the stitched pages. This signature-styled binding is really cool and adheres to Moleskine’s nostalgic nature.

However, despite the great use of signatures to stitch the pages, I am not impressed with the glue work to adhere the cover to the signatures. It looks terrible and is about as durable as the scratched covers.

Lastly, I want to quickly touch on the size of the Large Volant. Actually, I want to touch on the Large Volant’s new competition.

Some people I know complained about the size of Field Notes Brand’s Arts and Sciences edition. Field Notes Brand used a seemingly arbitrary size for Arts and Sciences. Luckily for me, I love the size.

The Large Volant is more or less the same size as Arts and Sciences. Yes, the Volant is slightly taller and slightly wider, but it’s not truly noticeable. The only major difference is in book length — 64 pages in Arts and Sciences vs. 96 pages in the Volant.

Between the desk-book sizing, the fine paper, the signature-binding and the added pages, the Volant should naturally be my go-to book at my desk.

It’s not though. Most of the fault can be placed on me for buying a notebook with blank pages (I didn’t even look when I bought them) but some of the fault can be put on Moleskine as well.

Moleskine’s books just lack the character of other notebooks. They are too generic for my liking. The grey and charcoal colours look great, but the rest of the book lacks any sense of delight.

Which sucks. Because the Volant is my favourite Moleskine product to date. And it’s the only Moleskine product I’ll consider buying a second time — this time with a ruling.