Shibui products are protective investments, so I figured I’d get one for myself as a graduation gift. But since I went the Hobonichi Techo way for 2022, I had to get a (literally and figuratively) fitting cover in A6 before the new year. And that’s how I got the Shibui Slim Cover.
But it didn’t come in a color I wanted, so I asked if they could change it. It was a good decision.
See also: The prayers behind Shibui
Shibui’s slim covers only come in pastel colors: Coral Pink, Sand Beige, Seafoam Green, and Whale Blue. But the good thing with Shibui is that they’re open for special requests. Mine was getting a cover in Saddle Brown, which really looks beautiful on their other products. The additional fee was reasonable since it was a different material from what they offered for the specific line.
Inside, the cover has three card slots and one slot with clear window to the left, which also feature’s the Shibui logo. The right side also has two slots, which the website describes as meant for utility rulers or bookmarks. The bottom right part also has a quick access pocket of sorts.
As with most leather goods, the spine does not remain perfect. And that is ok.
There is also the issue of keeping the notebook closed, which might draw comparisons with Hobonichi’s own covers. The leather used for the cover, at least for the Saddle Brown version, is heavy enough to keep the notebook shut when it’s on the desk. But it also needed a little bit of breaking in since it was on the stiff side at the start. Frequent use eventually made it close nicely.
So far, the cover has taken a very good beating from the few times I brought it outside the house. It has that classic feel, and quality that matches its good looks. Also, it is locally made!
Admittedly, the Hokusai Hobonichi Cover has been my go-to for the most part of the year. Primarily that’s because it came with a plastic cover, and I’m afraid to ruin the Shibui leather with my pandemic-induced frequent hand-sanitizing habit. But if that won’t bother you, then this is a good customization to get.
The Shibui Slim Cover in saddle brown goes for PHP1,800 while an A5 version can be requested for PHP 2500 before shipping. This was purchased in December 2021, so prices may have changed since then.