After looking at BookFactory.com several times, curiosity finally got to me and I ordered a few of their pocket notebooks. Their site seems aimed at large institutions who are buying for engineering and scientific types. The nature of their customers is echoed in many details in the product.
The book seems tough. There is reinforcement well into the front and back covers – you can see the edge of it halfway across the cover in the photo. The last page of the book also has reinforcement. The book block is joined very well to the cover, and the paper is thick. The book is about 3 5/8″ by 5 1/4″, and has a soft cover.
The binding is sewn, lays flat, and doesn’t seem to be bothered by being bent backward, where the book is folded so the front cover is against the back cover.
There are nice spots for information in the front cover, and there’s no annoying assumption that you will pay a reward for the book’s safe return. In the front there’s some useful advice on how to keep a notebook for patent and research purposes, but it’s interesting reading regardless.
There are page numbers and a table of contents. The page numbers, joined by a spot to record the book number, are pretty bold compared to the Leuchtturm1917. I do not know why one would need to record the book number on each page, except that it ensures you can track down which book copies came from. That would be reason enough in many corporate environments, for personal use it is a fine spot to write the date.
The table of contents rocks. There’s an entry for each page in the book. This way you can just jot what is on each page, without feeling obligated to choose what is table of contents-worthy.
The paper seems thicker than Moleskine paper, and took the ink from my fountain pens just fine with no bleed through to the other side. A fairly blunt Sharpie did show on the other side, but did not go to the following leaf. The paper also takes pencil pretty well, and I dare say it takes it better than my beloved Leuchtturm1917 in that regard.
None of the pages are perforated. Yay! I HATE perforated pages.
They’re made in the USA, in Dayton, Ohio.
The not so good:
The reinforcement in the cover causes it to crease in the middle which is annoying when you’re paging through the book.
It has neither a place marker nor a pocket, but for a $6 book I didn’t expect it.
The cover is black, so labeling will require a sticker of some kind. They sell the books in other colors, which might take a marker of some kind.
They’re only available through a few places. www.bookfactory.com, and Amazon carries a few. I don’t mind. I’d rather pay less and get the books direct anyway.