Nice cheap notebooks

So a long while back I used to journal in the pocket size Moleskine notebooks – the ubiquitous black hardcover ones. They worked pretty well but I slowly moved up the sizes until I was using the Leuchtturm1917 master dots size. A great size with lots of space, but hard to carry anywhere, so I slid back down to the BookFactory blank books in the 8×10 size. Also a nice size, but not so good for travel.

After eventually going all the way back down to Fieldnotes notebooks in a leather cover I’d made, I realized that’s too small. But I like the cover and I liked the slim volumes. Just needed the next size up.

I went looking for refills that were the 5×8 size, dot grid, and not too expensive. Moleskine ruined their Cahier notebooks by making 25% of the pages perforated. Leuchtturm1917 did even worse my ruining the entire book – the whole thing is perforated. I know a lot of folks want pages perforated so they can tear them out, but I’m not one of those people.

Looking on Amazon I found these: XYark 12 Pack Dot Grid Notebook Journals

The arrived in a nice stack in a plastic bag, are just what I expected. Stitch bound, not perforated, dot grid. The paper is thin and the cover is just a bit thicker. I didn’t buy them to survive on their own – they’ll be in a leather cover – so these seem about perfect.

Fieldnotes with leather cover, left. New notebooks, right.
Fieldnotes with leather cover, left. New notebooks, right.

60 pages is about 1/4 of what is in a Leuchtturm1917 notebook of the same size, so I figure I’ll go through about three or four of these in a year. I used to want notebooks to last for as many months of journaling as possible, but I’ve found I really don’t look back that often away from home.

The paper is not fantastic, but it’s easily as good as Moleskine, about the same as Leuchtturm’s. A cursory test with fountain pen ink showed no bleed using Noodler’s black that had been in a pen for quite a while, in a TWSBI pen that leaves a wet line. Parker roller ball was the same. Writing very slowly it was a little more apparent from the other side, but not what I would call bleed through. The dot grid is a bit darker than Leuchtturm1917, which was off putting at first but now I’m over it.

Leuchtturm1917 dot grid top, new notebook dot grid bottom.
Leuchtturm1917 dot grid top, new notebook dot grid bottom.

$20 for 12 books, 720 pages, or about 1/3 the price of Leuchtturm1917 large notebooks. No pocket, no page numbers, no index, no perforations, no silly promise about rewards.

Author: Steve

Over thinking geeksturbator in the Bluegrass.

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