This is not the first County Fair notebook that I've used, but it's the first that I've come close to finishing and that deems it worthy of a review. The County Fair is a colors edition that seems to have become a sort of stock edition. They are sold in packs of three (as per the usual) and you can buy a pack for any state you like. This one was sent to me by the lovely Deirdre over at The Weekly Pencil and is for Massachusetts. (You should check out her blog, it's pretty awesome.)
The covers of the County Fair books are bright, bold primary colors, with one each of red, yellow, and blue per pack. While the colors are not subtle, they are not exactly in-your-face either and I appreciate that. On the front is the name of the state and a small picture and then on the back is a preponderance of nifty facts about the state being featured. I really enjoy learning things like the state insect or primary crops but if you are more into hard facts, there's also the state capitol and date it was admitted into the union.
Beyond the trivia featured on the cover, the best part of the cover (for me at least) is the textured paper it is printed on. According to the inside rear cover, the cover is 100# linen paper and it has just enough tactile interest to keep my fingers happy but not so much as to become distracting. It also hides creases exceedingly well and seems to age gracefully, taking on just a bit of patina around the edges.
To some, the Country Fair books might just be a pretty face. They feature the 50# white paper that is/was stock on FN until recently (I am not sure but I have heard rumors that they switched to 60# paper for stock?) and this paper is not the most fountain pen friendly. Sure, you can hunt around to find a nib and ink combination that will work, but I would much rather enjoy a quality pencil in this book. Or a gel pen, those work well too.
Another little detail that I enjoy is the grid color. I find dark grids to be very distracting and these ones are printed in a very light blue-grey color that is just enough to help keep my lines straight but not so much as to be intrusive. Best of both worlds, in my opinion.
I do plan on buying more of these books. They aren't any better or worse of a deal than pretty much all the other pocket notebooks out there, but I really enjoy that I can buy them for a specific state and it doesn't cost me extra. I think that I will pick up a couple packs of Virginia books and send them out with packages as a little something extra. That just seems like such a fun thing to do, doesn't it?