What I dislike about the North American ones is their price. And quality. To be clear, I can get one of those beautifully antique, masterfully bound journals with their creamy pages - for prices much steeper than a three-hole, lined spiral notebooks. Yes, I'm being cheap, but I'm also a student, and I'm also painfully aware of the 1/10 prices over in Asia.
Of course, being the bibliophile (is it still bibliophile, to love notebooks?) that I am, I do end up buying those journals anyways. I have them stacked up for my diary that started more than ten years ago. But for class notes? The hallow places that hold my chicken scratch jottings of information on Milton, Dryden, Rochester, Rulfo, Carver? Three-hole, lined spiral notebook it is, and the ink will just have to seep through the paper.
So imagine my geeky surprise when I ran into these beautiful notebook that were barely three dollars, with pristine white paper thick enough to hold the bravest of ink in place:
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you: the notebook made of banana leaf, and the notebook made of stone.
They were designed with green living in mind, of course, but just looking at their beauty (and their affordable price - luxury, for notebooks that get used up every other week by mad scribbles!)
I haven't written on them yet, but their surface is so smooth. I could sit for hours rubbing my face against the paper. I have principles regarding these things; when I buy sketchbooks, I stand there in the art supply store and rub my face against each one to determine the texture that I want. And these? These are just wonderful. The banana leaf one is stylized, looking more like recycled pages with the tan color and texturized surface, but it's a very cute design that fits this quirk.
The thing about the notebook made of stone, though - and this would come as common sense that still surprises you - is its heaviness. I grabbed two off the shelf immediately, and really felt its weight. It nearly did make me put it back, since I have enough things to carry around in my backpack, but just one isn't too bad. Still heavier than other notebooks, but not so much that you'd wonder just what these notebooks were made of.
Watch me become a holic of these things, then tear apart every off and online store to find them again when they are discontinued.
(Eco-friendly as well, of course, although I do have to think about a bit. Is using banana leaves and stones that much better than using trees? I imagine some, yes, but isn't it still using up nature and cause trouble if too many of those are used as well?)