Non-spotty Notebooks
February 13, 2013 7:10 PM   Subscribe

Please recommend the best notebooks (lined/graph, margins, bound on the side, 8.5" x 11") you've used that DON'T have random spots and things on the pages.

I hate, hate, hate it when paper has spots on it. I'm talking about the random black marks/paper weirdness that look like you could erase, but can't. Currently, I'm using two Five Star notebooks (one college-ruled, one graph paper) and they, especially the college-ruled one, have spots EVERYWHERE. Like on every page. It drives me nuts. My composition book is fine, but last quarter I bought two from the dollar store and it was like the pages were dalmatians (hence, no more dollar-store notebooks).

I know there has already been a recommend-your-favorite-notebook question here, but most of those recommendations weren't for school and weren't with respect to spotty paper. Please leave your recommendations in terms of what people use for school (bound on the side, college-ruled or graph paper, 8.5" x 11"). As much as I know everyone loves Moleskines, it's really unfeasible for me to buy fifteen of them a year.

Bonus point: if it is a non-spotty graph-paper bound-on-the-side notebook with margins I will love you forever.
posted by obviousresistance to Education (15 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Are you sure this is a thing? I just grabbed my no-brand college ruled notebook that happened to be near me and couldn't find a spot.

Do you live near a coal factory? Could you post a picture of what it is that bothers you?
posted by cmoj at 7:15 PM on February 13, 2013 [2 favorites]

I also use Five Star and there are no spots in my notebook. Perhaps you got a bad batch, or you have floaters in your eyes?
posted by cyml at 7:21 PM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: If I'm the only person who has this issue it'll make me really sad :(. If it is, then I'll take notebook suggestions that are specifically for school.

I've highlighted the spots because it's hard to get them to come up in pictures. Some of them are circled too so people can see what they look like without highlighting.
posted by obviousresistance at 7:27 PM on February 13, 2013

I totally know what you're talking about, and it drives me crazy. I don't recall the brand, but my university book store sold a school-type spiral notebook that was on slightly heavier paper and was free of spots. It wasn't super expensive. I could never find the brand at Staples or the grocery store or whatever-- it may even have had the university name/logo on it? I even think there was a graph paper version. tl;dr can you try looking at your bookstore?
posted by charmcityblues at 7:28 PM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

Are they recycled paper? It might help to find a brand which uses 'new' paper as opposed to recycled.
posted by Youremyworld at 7:35 PM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

I know what you mean, and I hate those spots too!

Carolina Pad makes wonderful, high-quality notebooks that are reasonably priced. I like their Studio C line, but they have other styles as well. I've found them at Staples and Target. The paper is creamy and smooth and I don't think I've ever seen a black or grey dot on any page. I've used this brand for about 5 years now.
posted by k8lin at 7:47 PM on February 13, 2013

Anything here should do fine.
posted by sebastienbailard at 7:52 PM on February 13, 2013

Given your specs, I'd say either Rhodia or Clairefontaine notebooks are in order. Somewhat expensive but the paper quality is incomparable. The paper is rated at 90g/m^2 and flipping through the couple of Clairefontaine notebooks I have handy, all of the pages are uniformly bright white and smooth. If you use a fountain pen, your pen will glide super smooth without much, if any, bleed through. (I know that it depends on the pen/ink/etc)
posted by scalespace at 8:36 PM on February 13, 2013

A search for "bond paper notebook" returns many options. Bond paper is considerably higher quality than regular paper, and designed to be very white and durable. We use it for legal notebooks for this reason.
posted by bonehead at 5:32 AM on February 14, 2013

Here's an interesting one: the Staples Eco Friendly Composition book. If you click on the last image of the page, you can see it in high resolution. IDK if this is good enough for you, but it might be a reasonably priced option. Lab notebooks run about $20 each.
posted by bonehead at 5:36 AM on February 14, 2013

Rhodia makes an excellent notebook for a reasonable price. The paper quality is really good and I don't think you will experience as many random paper inclusions as they don't do recycled. There are also many formats-- either lined or graph. Rhodia:

Semikolon also has great paper quality, but in my opinion the price is too high.
posted by blnkfrnk at 11:30 AM on February 14, 2013

Nthing Rhodia, though "reasonable price" is relative. The first time I picked one up simply because I thought it was aesthetically pleasing, not knowing anything about it, I was shocked to realize I'd just spent $15 on a notebook that was going to last me a single semester. But they are indeed incredibly high-quality, and flipping through the two I have here in front of me, I don't see any blemishes.
posted by rhiannonstone at 12:32 PM on February 14, 2013

Rhodia! Their stuff is awesome.
posted by sarcasticah at 4:20 PM on February 14, 2013

Response by poster: Thank you! I will definitely look into these brands for next quarter. It's also nice to know I'm not the only person with this problem :).
posted by obviousresistance at 2:49 PM on February 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

I've used Rhodia, and Carolina Pads are 80% as good but cost $1 to $2 - not $15 each. They're often on sale before the K-12 school year starts.

I'm not affiliated with them; I just love these notebooks.
posted by k8lin at 8:25 PM on February 16, 2013

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