Finely-ruled writing journals?
December 4, 2004 12:45 AM   Subscribe

Does anyone have any reliable sources for very finely ruled writing journals (not datebooks)? I have a person on my gift list for whom narrow-ruled is not fine enough. I would prefer they not have pictures on the cover or quotes at the top of each page -- just plain and finely ruled. (Is there a standard name for ruling below narrow-ruled?)
posted by ontic to Shopping (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
What about NOT ruled, and you make a "finely ruled" image, print (or print and cut) it the right size and place it behind the 1st page?

I do a LOT of writing and I write small, so that's my "weapon" of choice. Plus, the plain, unlined books are usually nicer on the outside as well, anyway.

You can get leather ones here, here, here and (my personal favorite style selections) here. For more of the really nice hand tooled designs of the style seen at the last link, search: Oberon Designs +Leather. Then you can get some less "pagan-y" ones - if those styles are too esoteric.

Also, Barnes & Noble had a nice selection of blank leather and non-leather journals the last time I was there (both in New Hampshire and Connecticut) so check that out, too.

Best of luck!
posted by erratic frog at 1:27 AM on December 4, 2004

I'm not sure how you define narrow or finely ruled (do you know how much space you want between the lines?).

Moleskine notebooks are very popular and excellent but you might want to write one of the sellers (there are many, just search for +moleskine on google) and ask.

MeFi thread here.
posted by dobbs at 1:28 AM on December 4, 2004

If you want to know the line height on the moleskine books, try emailing this eBay seller. He appears to be a distributor and you'd probably get a better response than from a store. His prices seem pretty good, too.
posted by dobbs at 1:46 AM on December 4, 2004

Thanks for the suggestions. I would love to get something with roughly the style of the moleskine books, but I haven't seen any with fine enough ruling. More specifically, narrow ruled seems to be defined as about 1/4 inch between lines. So 1/8 - 3/16 inch would be pretty close to what I'm looking for.

This person is incredibly fond of these fine-lined books when we can find them and unlined with modifications doesn't seem to satisfy her. She's even resorted to writing on graph paper to get the desired ruling.
posted by ontic at 1:58 AM on December 4, 2004

Well, the moleskine ones come in a graph version...
posted by dobbs at 2:32 AM on December 4, 2004

The spacing on the graphed moleskines is 1/4 inch, unfortunately.
posted by Marit at 6:03 AM on December 4, 2004

Oops, it's 3/16, just a hair less. (Just looked at dobbs' link, how embarrassing.) If she can differentiate between 1/4 and 3/16, more power to her.
posted by Marit at 6:06 AM on December 4, 2004

Try checking out a store like Barnes and Noble, in addition to the Moleskine books (which are about $1 cheaper than on the ebay page), most stores should have between 10-20 feet of journals to choose from and you'll be able to look through them before buying.
posted by drezdn at 7:40 AM on December 4, 2004

There are a lot of Japanese notebooks that come in extra-narrow rule. It's designated in millimeters -- I think 6mm is what I usually buy. I get mine in Japantown whenever I visit the SF bay area, but you may be able to find some online or get someone to pick some up for you and send them to you.

There's a pretty substantial difference between 1/4 and 3/16 -- one is, after all, only 3/4 as large as the other.
posted by redfoxtail at 7:45 AM on December 4, 2004

You might try looking at field books, the kind used by geologists or surveyors. Field books come in a variety of ruling types, depending on their intended use. I've used Sokkia books, and have been quite happy with their durability and the quality of their paper. Sokkia carries a graphed version, with 10 squares per inch. Here you can purchase a wide variety of field books, including from Sokkia.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 8:54 AM on December 4, 2004

3/16=.1875"=4.7 mm, so 3/16 is still smaller than 6mm, no?

Standard American/Euro rulings here, but nothing that small.

If you want to invest the time in it, (have someone) draw up an illustrator page with teensy-eensy lines, take it to Kinkos, have 'em print out 100 pages, quarter and wire bind them. It would end up being very cheap per book.
posted by Jack Karaoke at 10:49 AM on December 4, 2004

It's all about the Apica's. All about it. They're Japanese, so the lines are considerably closer than those of an american "college" ruled notebook. They're also the best paper I've ever written on, and I'm bit of a paper snob so I've used Rhodia (Italy), Clairefontaine (France), and Moleskine (US?).

They sizes are really weird, however. The notebooks are very casual looking and they won't fit in any leather folio covers I've ever seen. Just FYI.
posted by zpousman at 12:43 PM on December 4, 2004 [1 favorite]

Jack's suggestion is a possible one. I've done this, and it's pretty nice. We made 2/3 graph paper and 1/3 ruled. The graphs and lines were all very small hairlines. So small that kinko's machines could not reproduce them -- they turned into half-tone type dots. The copies also were "spotted" with very small dots of toner in random locations and configurations. It was a bit of a downer after spending a long time designing the notebooks.

They costs us about $15 each with wirebindings and black covers / backs. They weren't very sturdy (kinda floppy) at 125 pages each. But they were rad 'cause nobody else had as functional a notebook.
posted by zpousman at 12:50 PM on December 4, 2004 [1 favorite]

Well thanks to everyone for all the help. From the answers, it looks like I should be after something Japanese. The Apicas and the Sokkias look like the best candidates for what she wants. Too bad I don't live in SF!
posted by ontic at 2:40 PM on December 4, 2004

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