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Wirebound And Composition And Loose



Preferred Notebook Style  

27 members have voted

  1. 1. Which binding style do you prefer?

    • Wirebound (tube-like wire coils going through little holes on left of notebook)
    • Composition (generally referring to composition book style binding)
    • Loose sheet (single pieces of paper, can be any sort)
    • Anything within reach.


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circlepattern

Hi!

 

I was just wondering which style of notebook binding people prefer. I thought of 3 categories: wirebound, composition, and loose.

 

Here is my view of the weakness and strength of each:

 

Wirebound: Often perforated so sheets can be removed if needed.

Could be flipped over on itself (you can make the back touch the front when writing), useful if you don't have a huge desk.

 

The "wires" can get in your way when writing on the left page (or vice versa if you're a leftie)

 

 

Composition: What happens in the book stays in the book. (pages aren't perforated and if you rips 1 page, the connecting page will

also

fall out)

Generally speaking, no annoying 3 holes on the book.

Both front and back are 1 piece (sturdiness).

 

If you accidentally rip the binding connecting the pages and the cover, the book is trashed (the whole thing will come

loose)

Extraordinarily annoying rise in the center when writing, attempts to squash the pages flat will make the cover come

loose or awkwardly hanging open when trying to close it.

 

 

Loose: No paper underneath, so good for those who prefer the hard desk feeling.

Probably the only paper recommended for the "turn-in-business"

No annoying bumps in the middle like the other two.

 

Can be lost quite easily

Without something to hold the page in place, your other hand will have to accept the job of holding the paper down while

writing.

 

 

 

 

I personally is biased toward the wirebound method. What do you like and why?

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  • circlepattern

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  • ac12

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  • PJohnP

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  • Jadie

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For a notebook, wire bound.

It lays FLAT (unlike a composition book) and I can flip the cover and used pages over, taking up less space on the desk.

But, only Clairfontain and Black-n-Red wire bound have nice FP friendly paper.

All the other wire bound notebooks (Target, Office Depot, and Staples) had paper rough enough that I could feel it with my fingers, so my F tip would not like it.

I use composition books because they are cheap (at Dollar Store) and the paper is of better quality than the average wire bound notebook.

 

For writing, individual sheets.

I find that writing with notebooks gets difficult at the bottom of the page as your hand goes off the edge of the book. The only solution to this is to use a spacer the same thickness as the notebook so your hand stays at the same paper level.

IF you put the paper directly into a ring binder, the sheets won't get lost.

For individual sheets I can use Hammermill 28 pound "Color Copy Digital" which is much cheaper per page than Clairfontain or Black-n-Red notebooks and is nice and smooth. I just have to punch holes and stick it into a ring binder.

So far I have not found a "good" FP friendly ruled filler paper. The Egyptian paper from Staples is going back for a refund. Not smooth enough for my F tip pens.

Edited by ac12

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

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circlepattern

I don't think the pages are too rough, bleed and feathering is horrible, so I got it under control by using what I think is Asain EF. As for the scratchiness, I found that if you would hold the pen not at 90 degrees relative to the paper, but rather at an angle, the problem will go away.

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Composition books are the way to go for me. If I have to rip something out, I just copy it on a loose sheet, and keep whatever I wrote originally in the c. book. If I don't have enough time to copy it, then I just rip it out (carefully) from the c. book itself without touching the binding.

 

I used to like wirebound notebooks until the spirals started catching on things and getting twisted out of shape, damaging the paper in the process. This happened multiple times, so I've switched to composition-styled books ever since. I like how they're more compact, and I also like seeing the edges turning rougher with use---kind of like watching the aging process in real time.

Sheen junkie, flex nib enthusiast, and all-around lover of fountain pens...

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circlepattern

That's interesting, I am far too lazy to copy sheets by hand on a regular basis, why not photocopy?

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@Jadie

You are right about the wires. Once the wires are damaged, the wirebound notebook can be a PiA to use, in fact if the wire is sufficiently damaged such that cover can't go all the way around, you now have a composition notebook. And some wire damage cannot be easily fixed.

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

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circlepattern

You just can't treat the notebooks too roughly, and I usually use the platic wired notebooks, they would not deform and the edges are actually sort of comfortable.

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Circle

The reality is the wire WILL get damaged. Sometime easily straightened out, other times not fixable. It probably won't get damaged on every notebook, but eventually you will damage the wire.

As for plastic vs. metal, you get what you get when you buy the notebook.

While you could base your purchase of the notebook on the wire material, I would rather base my purchase on the paper quality. Or as I have recently found, more the lack of quality (smooth surface).

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

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circlepattern

Here is what I do: Swap the "wires" on my finished notebooks for the steel on my current notebook (although I find my plastic wired notebooks very FP friendly and buys them often, so I only did this a couple of times). It might seem time consuming, but its really not, you just have to get paper clips to secure the notebooks and straighten the wire out, then it will slide off. It is considerably convenient considering the amount of time you're going to use a notebook.

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Circle

What wire bound notebook are you using, and where do you get it?

Every one of the sub $5 wirebound notebooks that I tried or looked at are NOT friendly to a FP with a F tip.

Only when you get to the more expensive stuff (Black-n-Red, Clairfontain, etc.) does the paper become FP friendly to a F tip.

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

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My preference is none of the above-- I like using two options that you don't mention:

 

1. Disk-bound, like the Levenger Circa and the Staples Arc systems. It allows you to freely add or subtract pages into your notebook into whatever order you wish. I really like the flexibility-- I can write outside of the notebook, and then add later into a different order as I wish.

 

2. Top-bound notepads, and then later removed and added into a 3-ring binder or into a disk-bound notebook.

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circlepattern

Circle

What wire bound notebook are you using, and where do you get it?

Every one of the sub $5 wirebound notebooks that I tried or looked at are NOT friendly to a FP with a F tip.

Only when you get to the more expensive stuff (Black-n-Red, Clairfontain, etc.) does the paper become FP friendly to a F tip.

I use the "Pattern Play" notebooks. They can be found in America for around 4-5$. The paper is very smooth, so much that a normal graphite pencil would only leave a very faint mark. I find these notebooks very FP usable.

 

My preference is none of the above-- I like using two options that you don't mention:

 

1. Disk-bound, like the Levenger Circa and the Staples Arc systems. It allows you to freely add or subtract pages into your notebook into whatever order you wish. I really like the flexibility-- I can write outside of the notebook, and then add later into a different order as I wish.

 

2. Top-bound notepads, and then later removed and added into a 3-ring binder or into a disk-bound notebook.

Very interesting, that is a first time for me.

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My preference is none of the above-- I like using two options that you don't mention... Disk-bound, like the Levenger Circa and the Staples Arc systems.

 

Agreed.

 

The Circa/Arc system has many of the benefits of a bound system, as well as allowing for removal/rearrangement/disposal. I use mostly Arc components with a few Circa items that I've picked up, and the two are generally interchangeable, which allows for the use of some of the lower cost Arc items. There are multiple sizes for the Circa/Arc as well as shallow and deeper discs for either portability or more storage as needed, some of which discs from Circa can be quite decorative for those who want them.

 

The other rather large benefit for the Arc arrangement is that I've printed dot-grid sheets with customised headers on exactly the paper that I like for notetaking with an FP - Double A paper - so I have the page format I want (double-sided printing as well), the paper I want, and the overall advantages of the Arc system noted above. The addition of a few other options like Arc pre-printed graph paper, dividers, pockets makes the system quite robust for field work.

 

Bliss.

 

 

 

 

John P.

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circlepattern

This disk system doesn't seem that durable, it seems that a page can easily fall out, I imagine a day in the backpack and it would fall apart. Is this true or are there more than what meets the eye?

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This disk system doesn't seem that durable, it seems that a page can easily fall out, I imagine a day in the backpack and it would fall apart. Is this true or are there more than what meets the eye?

 

Hasn't happened to me, and I do field work in some pretty rough 'n' ready industrial facilities. The only concession I've made to the field conditions is to use a plastic covered Arc notebook instead of my nicer leather covered one, for the obvious reasons. Notwithstanding the conditions, I've never had a page "drop out", although I've deliberately pulled/popped them out numerous times.

 

 

 

John P.

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This disk system doesn't seem that durable, it seems that a page can easily fall out, I imagine a day in the backpack and it would fall apart. Is this true or are there more than what meets the eye?

 

I haven't had any fall out. The parts on the edge closest to the top and bottom disks sometimes get folded over, but of course this can happen with wire bound notebooks as well. I haven't had any papers fall out.

 

If you are near a Staples store, I'd suggest picking one up (the ARC system), since it's significantly cheaper there than through Levenger. The Levenger website has some nice specialized features, such as Rhodia paper that's punched for their system if you decide it's a good system for you.

 

Like John P, I've printed my own sheets using HP 32lb paper and my personalized grids that I like to use. Staples also has a cheaper version of their disk punch so that you can create your own notebook with your own system.

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Like John P, I've printed my own sheets using HP 32lb paper and my personalized grids that I like to use. Staples also has a cheaper version of their disk punch so that you can create your own notebook with your own system.

 

There's something to be said for getting (almost) everything one wants in a notebook format, page layout, paper, accessories, and that incredible flexibility of use with Arc/Circa notebooks. Granted, the page layout's a little bit of work, but certainly well within most FPN folks' capabilities. After that, it's more finding the specific choices out of the world of paper that may occupy a lot of a person's time !

 

We're still not seeing quite so many third-party covers for Arc/Circa as yet, but I think there's a definite niche for this to develop. Renaissance Art has some offerings, and I'm sure that others will spring up in the coming months.

 

 

John P.

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That's interesting, I am far too lazy to copy sheets by hand on a regular basis, why not photocopy?

 

Sometimes you're on the road and there's no copier in sight.

 

And any excuse for me to write more stuff with my fountain pens is a plus in my book! Usually I reorganize the stuff I wrote so it's neater/more logical/multi-colored, to boot. Win-win all around. =D

Sheen junkie, flex nib enthusiast, and all-around lover of fountain pens...

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Choice depends on the purpose.

 

punched single sheets for academic things and notes that will be organized into a 3-ring notebook

 

sewn books for journalling or keeping for a long while, both composition notebook style and regular book style.

 

avoid spirals with fervor and don't know how one ended up in the car pocket (has charts filling in gas purchases, oil changes, etc.)

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For subjects like gardening journals and personal research projects, I use Crane's composition notebooks. The paper is fountain pen friendly and the books are very inexpensive (in August, they go for 50 cents each). For more serious writing, I use multi-sectioned, hard bound "Record" books. The pages are green tinted. The lines are a darker green. They have 300 pre-numbered pages. They do make one write into a valley and that does distort my writing somewhat. If a reader sees that, he merely takes into account that I was writing into the valley. No big deal, right? I frankly don't give a rip.

 

Can a calculator understand a cash register?

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