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Quality B5 Notebooks

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I recently ditched my A4 Notebooks (Black n Red) not because of their quality (quality is amazing!) but I found the size a little unpractical.


I also found the various A5 notebooks were sometimes a little too small and I couldn't get all my notes on as I wanted


One day by chance, I stumbled across the NU Elite B5 notebooks, great paper, size and price.


I found I was the only person using this size and often get asked where I got it from.


I then wanted something a little more premium, but only really found the Apica CD, but at £15, pretty steep


So does anyone know of any B5 notebook comparable to say Rhodia webnotebooks in paper and quality but in B5 and cheaper than the Apica?


Seems in the UK, B5 is quite uncommon, how about the rest of the world, is it a common size?



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Maruman, Kokuyo and Apica all make very nice B5 notebooks with FP friendly paper. They are in fact the dominant size, I have difficulty trying to find larger A4 ones. I am not sure where you would get them in the UK though. Here in Hong Kong, most of them are cheaper than Rhodia, e.g. the Apica CD15 (28 pages) costs something like 3USD, a set of 5 Kokuyo Todai Campus B5 (30 sheets each) is around $7.10.

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool. - Richard Feynman


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Maruman Mnemosyne has great spiral bound B5 notebooks that I found on The Journal Shop (UK website). They are currently sold out, I believe, but maybe that's something to keep your eyes on :) I'm sure they'll get them back in stock. Jetpens.com has them as well.

I don't know how the compare to Rhodia/Apica because I haven't really tried anything else than Mnemosyne yet, but I think they're great. Very smooth, minimal shading, and I haven't found any feathering or bleed through. One notebook sells for £5.42 at The Journal Shop, contains 80 sheets (160 pages).

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tsubame blank notebooks. very velvety paper with no feathering or showthrough.


are they available in the UK - ? Can't seem to find them anywhere

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PS there is a set of 5 B5 Kokuyo notebooks on amazon for about £8 at the moment

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I like mango cheesecake

But, are any of these fountain pen friendly? There are some very nice B5 notebooks at Chapters/Indigo but I hesitate because I don't want a soaker.

Like Pierre Belvedere notebooks from Montreal. Very nice with a faux leather cover, fp friendly? Not wiling to spend money and find out on the very first page.

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yep the Kokuyo ones are - if you search FPN there are a few posts reviewing the paper :)

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Hi All


Many thanks for all your responses


What I was after was a B5 notebook with FP paper, but more akin to the Leuchtturm or Rhodia style/quality Notebook


Any ideas if anything like this exists for less than £10 ($15)?



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  • 5 weeks later...

you mean hardcover, more book-book than exercise book, right? I don't think I've ever seen it, and I love this size too so I do keep an eye out for it. You could get a cover though - I know if you're used to the notebook having its own rigid cover that's kind of a let-down, but it works and the soft covers on most of the ones mentioned are sturdy enough to stay put inside a leather cover or similar. I think it's worth a look :-)


As for price, I'm assuming you'd be able to go a little higher than ten quid since this would be a reusable cover and not a recurring expense, so you should be able to find lots of nice things. But even if you can't I'm pretty sure if you shop around on etsy, you can find someone to make you something simple and no-frills for about that much. Don't worry about extras like a closure, a pen loop, a page marker, or pockets - you can DIY all of those with minimal effort and only basic skills, so just save your money towards something like better leather or some rigid backing for the cover :-)


good luck, I hope you find your ideal setup! That B5 size is right lovely, isn't it? You might want to try some B6 as well, I think it's great for things like journals and planners - almost as portable as A6 but nowhere near as cramped :-)

I'm not affiliated with ANY of the brands/retailers/shops/ebay sellers/whatever I mention or recommend. If that ever changes, I will let you know :)


Looking for a cheap Pilot VP/Capless - willing to put up with lots of cosmetic damage.

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I use regular Kokuyo campus notebooks with a Kokuyo Systemic notebook holder/cover. Not quite leather/pleather, but it protects the B5 notebook well, and I can also slip a FP in the front pouch.

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I find that jet pens .com has an enormous selection of notebooks, journals in B5 and larger! They seem to have everything one could want if you use a fountain pen. Of course Amazon has everything as well. I find that a relationship with a supplier develops a trust in their service and products as well. They are very reliable and quick to deliver internationally at very reasonable prices. Sometimes they have specials that provide no shipping charges. For example, they just had back to school specials that were amazing. I highly recommend getting on their email list as well as the European Paper e-mail list. They have some great deals on paper, stationary and accessories.

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I love Rhodia and CF paper. But find the Rhodia No. 16 too small and the A4 too big.


I have long been a fan of B5 size paper and it is very common here and I always use it for pencils. B5 is a very common size here in throughout East Asia. I just can't find any good Fountain Pen Friendly quality paper that size.


I can either get the size I prefer and deal with feathering and ghosting or use the bitty Rhodia Pads or buckle up for an A4 extravaganza. I am always shocked at how many small odd size and shape pads Rhodia makes (I need a REALLY GOOD PAD OF PAPER THAT IS 2cm X 16cm?!?), really all kins of odd weird stuff and some with pleather covers (the 8, 10, 11, 12, 13 & the square? why so many varieties of weird little books?) But nothing between the 16 and the 18(A4) which is totally the sweet spot for me. If you put a B5 Pad between a 16 and a A4 you can see why Rhodia should make a "no. 17" pad that is B5 size. cwazy. Really big difference there.


But the 10, 11, 12, 13 ? Who sits there thinking, no 80gms paper won't do in 10, 12? That is crazy? No. 11 IT MUST BE 11). And what the heck does anyone use the long thin No. 8 for? What the hell are these silly monstrosities?


But they don't have a B5. ha! Bonkers.

Edited by ink-syringe

Looking for a cap for a Sheaffer Touchdown Sentinel Deluxe Fat version

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Seriously go to your local Rhodia dealer.


"Here is a cute little book!"

"Oh look here is another one nearly the same size but a bit taller!"

"Yes! here is one .1 of a centimeter bigger!"

"Oh here is one for making very long lists of just single words!"

"Here is another cute little one but it is slightly more square!"


"Here is a medium size book you might actually use"

"& there are some A4 size"


oh, and some wildly overpriced web books.




The Rhodia size distribution curve looks something like:


.1, .25, .5, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 60, 120


One of my favorite companies of all time, but honestly they make dozens of pads and exactly 2 sizes of paper that are of any use to me. But they are making the bucks so I must be the crazy one.

Looking for a cap for a Sheaffer Touchdown Sentinel Deluxe Fat version

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