Looking for 5x8 extremely thin notebooks.

Hope someone can help me. I'm stuck doing the textbook/testing thing. Company is pushing us to get professional certifications. I take notes while reading and am using the large Moleskine Cahier's. The 5x8 size works well: I use it as a bookmark, I leave it in the book so I can take notes while reading that are specific to this subject, the size works for me - smaller just wouldn't work for sketches or mindmaps or other stuff, but larger wouldn't fit. The issue is the 80 pages per book. I just don't use that many pages - ever. I would also like something thinner so it doesn't bulge the book. One upon a time, I think Levengers used to make a thin book (12 pages per book?), but it was kind of outrageously expensive.

What I'm looking for is a 5x8, lined, about 10-20 pages, no staples (rusting, catching book pages). I use one notebook per book and leave it in the book - one shot use. I hate trying to keep the notes on the pages in the back of the textbook since it requires me to flip back and forth (breaks my attention.) 5x8 index cards don't come in short side lined (as far as I've seen) and to keep about a dozen again - book gets thick.

Anyone know of any suppliers?

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How are the Cahiers bound?

If they are simply staple-bound, couldn't you take them apart, and make one into multiple booklets? Your average Kinkos should have a saddle stapler to bind them back together--or you could sew them. :-)

That's what my first thought is, and then you can use what you already have--especially all those unfinished books. You probably don't really need a cover, but any Letter-size page, cut down would work for that.


No suppliers, but..


I don't know of any suppliers of such books, unless you count composition books--like the kind we used to use for essay tests in college. I think the ones I used had staples, but it would be a fairly simple thing to yank the staples and tie them up with dental floss instead.

Alternatively, since composition books look crappy IMHO, take your own letter sheets, say 5-8 sheets, print lines on them in landscape orientation (double-sided). Then fold them in half and tie them up with the aforementioned dental floss. All you need is something pointy to poke a couple of holes in the crease so you can thread your floss through. Two holes near the top and two holes near the bottom would be enough for two knots, which ought to hold the thing together for the time you'll need it.

I'm thinking the unscented floss would work the best, but if you like that minty fresh scent.. :) Since you're talking about a certification, the books don't have to last forever, so you're not worried about archival issues.

Folding in half will get you a 5.5x8.5 book, but if you want to trim the extra half inch, you can.

If I had a long-arm stapler, I'd use that instead. The 'teeth' of the staple would end up inside the fold, so there shouldn't be any 'catching' issues on the book.

It should be an incredibly simple matter to get a print shop or office supply place to do a few of these up for you, custom to your own specifications.


? Split up a Moleskine Cahier ?

I believe they are bound with string. All you would need to do is cut the string, divide one 80 page cahier into 4-20 page cahiers and re-bind them.

Or just make your own out of letter-size paper folded in half.

Check out Innowen's bookbinding articles:
Bookbinding 101, A Quick Introduction
Bookbinding 101: Your First Book
Bookbinding 102: An Intermediate Book
Bookbinding Wrap Up
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

Detachable Pages

The pages in the second half of a Moleskine Cahier are detachable.

detachable == perforated

Sure, one could tear them out, but that give you loose note pages.
Personally, I would go with a needle, dental floss, and Innowen's How-To's, but that's me.
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

Sorry, I didn't make myself

Sorry, I didn't make myself clear. I didn't mean to say the pages can be detached to be used as loose sheets but that if a Cahier were made into thinner books, then some of the books would have those perforated / detachable pages, which may not be what Blackbeagle is looking for.

My apologies as well

for misinterpretation.
We will get this figured out one way or another.
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

Based on how the Cahiers are

Based on how the Cahiers are constructed, I think that if I unbound them and seperated them out into smaller page stacks, each smaller stack could have several pages on the front side that are firmly attached and several back pages that are detachable. Interesting. I could also use dental tape instead of dental floss to rebind or look for a long reach stapler. Something to try on the weekend to see how it works out.

Little sidenote, one of the reasons I'm trying to avoid marking up the books is that there are a number of techs and the rule of the company is that those with certifications get promoted/pay raises. All of us are trying to get/share books since the MS training manuals are something like $60 retail, $35 street each.

I think a college blue book

I think a college blue book would work perfectly. I was just looking at them myself and thinking they might come in handy.


Nice idea, but...

how is the paper quality ?
I recall those exam booklets having kinda low quality paper.

Is paper quality one of your concerns ?
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

That's it.


That's exactly the thingy I was talking about. I forgot what they were called, I haven't taken an essay test since 1992. :) This one you found is a little thicker than I remember. I remember we had two hours for the test and I ran out of room in mine. I think mine was smaller than this one. But it was blue and it had the crappy old wide rule in it on extra cheap newsprint. :)



I know this is not exactly what you are looking for, but you could try a pocketmod. You make it out of your own paper, so you can use whatever quality you want. Also, you can customize them. Not quite as fancy as a bound book and not the size you wanted, but they would meet your other requirements. BTW, I've found trimming off the paper borders after printing essential to getting it folded properly.

link to pocketmod


Making your own

I can understand that it may take more time than you can give to it, but if you could make some yourself, you could get exactly what you want. You can print your own paper in any ruled/graph format here

If you do not have a long stapler, you could staple the spine with a regular opened stapler onto a piece of cork, and then fold the ends in by hand. This may work well enough to determine whether making your own is worth it to you.

I did a google search for blue books, and blank booklets, and did not come up with much, but I'll continue to look. It sounds like a good idea. I'm sure somebody has done this before.

Hope this helps, and good luck with your quest.

Everything looks like a nail to me

This doesn't apply to your situation, but if it were me, I'd make top-punched Rolla bound reporter-style books out of 5x8 gridded index cards. The grid makes line direction irrelevant, and the blank back is ideal for for mind-mapping. If the booklet got too thick I could just remove some cards.

After I was done with the book/certification test, my notes could stay with me, getting snapped onto a larger set of discs which I could use for reference in the future.

Lacking my Rollabind obsession, you could also do this with a binder clip and cards. Just let the cards stick out of the top of the book you're studying, and shift cards out when the pile becomes too thick.

Blue books?

My first thought was those "blue books" like they sometimes use for exams in college. I think they might come in a size similar to 5x8. The paper in them generally resembles regular notebook paper, though, so I'm not sure if you'd want something a little classier-looking or not.

I'm not entirely sure where to get them, but I keep thinking I've seen them at one of the office supply stores...college bookstores, if you have one near you, also probably carry them.