My evidence is this: when he was working, he would buy his own notepads in order to guarantee FP-friendly paper at work. He has gone through almost every major manufacturer of bound journal on Earth, looking for just the right one. He likes Rhodia papers, but only the grid ones (really? I never thought it made that much difference!). He has been known to dislike papers others find perfectly useable.
Lately I’ve taken a rather different approach to paper. I see it as part of an equation, and adjust the other parts of the equation to get the result I want.
I am better at math than he is. (This isn’t a not-so-nice statement; it’s true. Quicken was invented for people like him.)
Many of us get to use whatever is available at work to use; I don’t have much say on what my employer buys for copier and printer paper and notepads, for example. As at so many other businesses (and our homes as well), we are looking to minimize expenses, so the quality of paper available at work is – um, questionable.
This being the case, my answer is to select my pens (and in some cases, inks) to accommodate the fact that at work I am basically writing on paper toweling. This means fine nibs are good for work. I get a medium line, but that’s fine. (Yes, the pun was intended!) If I use a broad nib, it looks like I’ve been writing with a Magic Marker.
I do appreciate paper that allows for use of a variety of nibs, though, and one of my favorites is the Rhodia Dot Pad. My journal is currently a Rhodia Webnotebook, and while I like the hard finish and texture (or lack thereof) of the paper I do wish it came in white. I’ve had a few things to say before about cream-colored paper, and the color is definitely a compromise for me; I expect I’ll be moving on to something else when I’m done with the Webbie.
My point here is this: one of the fun things about fountain pens for me is the chance to match the tools and materials to obtain the result I want – or to experiment to see what happens. This is not unlike an artist working within whatever media are chosen to obtain certain results.
With this in mind, I don’t think I can reasonably say there is such a thing as good or bad paper, then; the stuff at work is certainly absorbent and not prone to delivering a pleasing look with, say, a stub nib or a broad one, but it’s inexpensive, recycled, and readily available, all traits that could be construed as “good.”
Because of the varying papers I have available for use, my nib preference has grown to include a variety of widths and styles as well. I find I enjoy the variety, and the fun of trying different things to see what works.
All of which makes putting a few words on paper all the more gratifying.
What makes it fun for you?