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AncientScribe

Hello, I just started using fountain pens last year about halfway through my most recent school semester. I use a Lamy safari with a fine nib inked with Parker Blue/Black and I am not happy with the performance of the cheap notebooks I have been using ( feathering, bleed through, etc). I am looking for a better notebook to use for taking notes in school and I usually go through about 12-15 80-100 page notebooks a year so I would like them to be somewhere in the 5 dollar or lower range. I have been searching the forums and online for a while already trying to find a quality notebook at a decent price but no real luck yet. I live in Canada so many online retailers make it impractical to order from them even with lower prices, example: Goulet pens wants 35 dollars just for shipping on 5 notebooks. Any advice would be welcome.

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  • AncientScribe

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I also go through tons of notebooks and have found that I really enjoy both Black n Red notebooks, and Staples Sustainable Earth line of notebooks/notepads. They're both quite inexpensive, though the nicer Black 'n Red is usually a few dollars more. I've never experienced any feathering or bleed through, though Sustainable Earth occasionally has a good deal of show through depending on the nib/ink.

 

Also, consider having notebooks made for you. I'll buy a ream of paper and print lines (or dots) with my printer, then have it spiral bound at Kinkos for ~$3.50 U.S.D. This is by far the least expensive way I've found and you have the bonus of choosing the exact paper, line size, margin width etc.

Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.

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jimkrieger

Hard to believe the Goulets would charge so much for shipping. Maybe you should order over the phone and discuss their shipping rates with a live salesperson. I think they'd be happy to accommodate you. As for the notebook, the two best I've ever had are the Rhodia Webnotebook and the Quo Vadis Habana. They're more expensive than $5 but, in my opinion, worth every penny. Both make fountain pens write their smoothest, and neither feathers or bleeds through.

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Runnin_Ute

I am a big fan of the Black n Red as well. The case bound is 192 pages and the ring bound is 140 pages whether A5 or A4 sized. So although they are a few dollars more than the $5 budget number you have put out, there are more pages too. It is a very FP friendly paper. I have bought them at Office Depot, but they may be available at OfficeMax and Staples as well. (I haven't checked)

Brad

"Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind" - Rudyard Kipling
"None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain-pen, or half its cussedness; but we can try." - Mark Twain

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Have you thought about a staples ARC and hole punch? You can buy reams of decent paper and the pages would be easy to file too?

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AncientScribe

I went out and picked up a Staples Sustainable Earth notebook and also found Apica and Rhodia notebooks at a local shop that I did not know existed. I only bought an Apica as they did not have a Rhodia in a size that I wanted. So far both the Apica and the Staples are working great and I could see myself using either for school. Thanks for the suggestions everyone!

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If you happen to live near a Wal-Mart you should look at the Norcom comp books. They have various locations of productions so be sure to look for those produced in Brazil. The paper is surprisingly good, especially for the price point. Try to stock up during the "back to school" sales in the fall and you will be set.

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+1 for the Norcom composition books from Brazil. These are surprisingly good. Cheap during most of the year but ridiculously cheap during the back to school sales. I think I paid twenty five cents per book a couple of years ago during the sale. I will pick up some more in August when the sale begins.

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sumidero11

I am sorry not to be able to help you, the only notebook that I have had has been a rhodia and other notebooks that I use I make them to myself I same with the paper that I like.

 

My web-blog:

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www.FountainPenLand.com

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I have found some Brazilian paper composition books at Dollar Stores! When I find them, I buy as many as possible!

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Runnin_Ute

The Brazilian paper comp books - regardless of brand (Bizmart is Office Max) seem to be very consistent. Sure they feather some but what do you expect for as little as $1.00?

Brad

"Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind" - Rudyard Kipling
"None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain-pen, or half its cussedness; but we can try." - Mark Twain

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If you happen to live near a Wal-Mart you should look at the Norcom comp books. They have various locations of productions so be sure to look for those produced in Brazil. The paper is surprisingly good, especially for the price point. Try to stock up during the "back to school" sales in the fall and you will be set.

Another decent value offering from Wal-Mart are the Markings by C.R. Gibson journals. From my limited experience, these are quite fountain pen friendly.

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Check your local Staples for college ruled 80 sheet wireless notebook #41639 made in Brazil. I found some last fall for a dollar or two, very good paper, not a heavy as Rhodia, but quite fountain pen friendly.

 

Dan

"Life is like an analogy" -Anon-

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CVS sells some 80 page "Smart Living 1 Subject" tapebound notebooks. The paper so far has no feathering and bleedthrough issues with the following:

  • lamy safari medium nib, monteverde blue-black ink, Lamy blue cartridge ink (this ink feathers bit on the paper, but your pen's line width won't be disgustingly thick with feathering)
  • sheaffer-sailor fine nib, noodler's North African Violet
  • Mabie Todd Rialto medium nib, Conklin blue cartridge ink
  • Sheaffer 440, Jet Black ink cartridge (this ink feathers on everything, this paper managed to resist feathering with this ink for whatever reason)

It's a cheap $1 notebook with incredibly smooth fp friendly paper. The only downside to this notebook is that the pages fall out of the binding too easily. The upside is that they're prepunched and ready to be put into binders, or you could take some string or floss and tie loops into each ring.

Edited by apkayle
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AncientScribe

I will keep on the lookout for Brazilian notebooks, I live in Canada though and I don't think we get some of the same stuff at Staples and Wal-Mart because I have had no luck at either place for the Brazilian stuff. I will keep my eyes peeled this Fall though during the back to school sales, hopefully they bring in some different stock.

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GabrielleDuVent

Staples eco-friendly is FP friendly but the writing can show through the other side sometimes. If you fill up the entire page, it can make reading a bit of a chore.

 

Rhodias are a bit pricey, but they sell them in art stores (Dick Blick, e.t.c.). Not sure if they have those in Canada.

 

I'm surprised nobody has yelled out TOPS. Another is to print pages and have them bound, as someone suggested.

 

A lot of British papers are also FP friendly, the kind that one buys at Ryman's (for some reason, WH Smith just doesn't hold up). They MIGHT have some in Canada.

 

Moleskine might work, but the brand's picky about nibs and inks in regards to compatibility. I use them because they're lightweight and I don't like Rhodia because the paper's very thick, but I have EF nib on almost all my pens. They also bled through when it was humid, but it was so humid that day the air was like jelly.

 

The best paper in terms of FP friendliness per weight, I'd have to say, goes to the Japanese (but hey, we have a long history of paper crafting). If you live in Vancy or Toronto, you can probably get them locally... Ottawa or similarly sized city, you might have to look online.

 

If you live in Montreal or near, they might have Clairefontaine. They take FPs well.

Tes rires retroussés comme à son bord la rose,


Effacent mon dépit de ta métamorphose;


Tu t'éveilles, alors le rêve est oublié.



-Jean Cocteau, from Plaint-Chant, 1923

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  • 1 month later...

I just got back from a shopping trip to look for cheap wide ruled notebooks.

I found 3 composition books, all were $1 each.

- Staples, made in Brazil

- Staples, made in Egypt

- Dollar Store, made in India

 

All 3 were smooth, buy the India made comp book has the smoothest paper, as felt under a F tip.

I think I found my FP notebook. :-)

 

ALL the wire bound notebooks that I looked at felt rougher, including the Mead 5 star.

Edited by ac12

San Francisco Pen Show - August 28-30, 2020 - Redwood City, California

www.SFPenShow.com

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