Midori vs Fauxdori

There is a lot of (in my opinion, unnecessary) debate regarding Midori vs fauxdoris. Before I delve into the actual argument, let me first define the terms. “Midori” refers to a particular Japanese brand of traveler’s notebook, and also makes several supporting products such as various types of refills, standalone notebooks, stickers, and the like. “Fauxdori” is a blanket term generally used to define traveler’s notebooks that are not made by Midori.

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Now what is the issue? Since the Midori brand of traveler’s notebook has been successful in the recent years, the term midori is often misused to mean traveler’s notebook in general, or a specific non-Midori brand traveler’s notebook. It’s not uncommon to find people talking about their “midori” only to find out that they were talking of another brand. Midori purists are pissed because of course only Midori-branded items should be called Midori. In fact, I think it was they that coined (or at least made popular) the term “fauxdori” to refer to other-branded traveler’s notebooks.

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On the other hand, fans of other brands of traveler’s notebooks, especially the more popular and successful ones, are not happy with the term “fauxdori” either. Faux, by definition, means something that is not genuine or is fake, or more kindly, made in imitation. The unfortunate connotation is that being faux means being inferior, which is definitely not the case for many, if not most, makers of traveler’s notebooks.

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The problem with the opinion of the Midori purists is that it leads to exclusive thinking. It’s as if they want only Midori-brand traveler’s notebooks to exist, and all the rest cannot possibly compete with “the original”. Perhaps it will also lead them (and the spectators) to think that Midori does not have any shortcomings. There is no perfect product, as far as I can tell, and Midori is no exception. And it is in these shortcomings that the other companies are finding their niche.

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In my opinion, there is enough room for these other companies and more. As long as TN users are not finding their “perfect” notebook among Midori’s current offerings, then it is not reprehensible for them to buy from the others. Perhaps they want a different size than the two Midori choices; or maybe they want other colors; or even that they don’t want leather at all and would like some other material such as cloth or felt; all of these are valid options that makers already offer.

Now I own several Midori TNs as well as a few non-Midori TNs, and I am happy with both. There are areas where the Midori TNs are meeting my needs, such as having non-floppy material and being tolerant and even welcoming of rough handling. Then there are areas where I find my needs being met by other brands, such as different colors and sizes and generally being more affordable. I don’t think that there is a “best” brand, and each user should be able to find their desired notebook style in today’s market.

Disclaimer: None of these facts are backed by data. I have just been observing people’s different viewpoints in the various TN-related Facebook groups that I am part of, and drew my own conclusions from there. Thank you for reading.

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