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141 of 148 people found the following review helpful
on August 14, 2010
EDIT: according to a couple replies below, the notebook *may* be acid-free. Other archival properties I'm unaware of. I do not vouch that it is acid-free or archival though, since that claim is not made anywhere on the labeling, packaging, or website. I will say however that I have a Black n' Red from 2008 that does not show any signs of deterioration, so at least for 5 years it is fine.

I'll preface this review saying that I'm a bit of a notebook freak, I really do love stationary especially notebooks, and have way more than I could ever use. I know what I like in a notebook and what I feel is useful in a notebook and when I see it I grab it up.

I've used Black n' Red notebooks a number of times, for class notes when I was in college, lab notes at work and in graduate school, and personal notes for one of my older journals. I've got a lot of good things to say about them:
- Good binding: sturdy, even (no fluctuations in paper, except for one of the smaller versions of the Black n' Red I had), and lay-flat covers & paper through the entirety of the pages (not just the middle pages, this is very important for real usage)
- Solid covers
- Good paper size
- Good paper weight, not much bleed through even with dark ink pens
- good lining, a nice soft grey that is not obtrusive so if you choose to draw a diagram or do anything else that crosses the lines, the contrast of the pen is far greater than the line, preventing the line from being a disturbance (also surprisingly important, you see these only in a couple places, like the Peter Pauper notebooks or Staples' eco-friendly composition notebooks with hazel lines)
- bookmark, always a plus

There's no numbered pages or ToC pages, but that's no big deal for many uses.

My big complaint is the *paper quality*, it is not archival quality and is not even Acid Free. This is really a shame for an otherwise wonderful notebook. Many people think "what do I need acid free for? I don't need this to last a hundred years." But the sad reality is that many papers with low pH's (high acidity) may last more like only 20-30 years before yellowing and decaying. If you're taking valuable notes or writing thoughts you'll want to access later in your life, even just the next few decades, you really want to go for acid-free or even better archival (lignin free etc.). Non-acid-free notebooks and paper are good for things that you'll only need the next few years and then will throw away anyway, but for a notebook like this that you may want to access for decades, there's no excuse for it's beautiful, high-weight paper to not be acid free.

Hope that helps.
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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
Black n' Red happens to be standard issue in my office. I always preferred the casebound notebooks because most of the notes I take I want to keep and a casebound, hardcover is what's proper for me.

I always expect quality and convenience from Black n' Red and this is what I am getting with these notebooks. In addition to the 192 lined sheets you get a date planner, 3 year calendars, a personal info. sheet, various conversion tables, maps, time zones info., even the subway maps of 4 major US cities.

Another positive: it fits well inside my laptop case.

I am happy that my office supplies me with these notebooks. They look stylish and they are, in fact, well made, of good quality materials.
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51 of 54 people found the following review helpful
on June 23, 2008
For years I used composition notebooks for journaling, but then I met this. The size is comfortable to write in, the paper surface takes ballpoint and gel pens nicely. It is well-crafted. Mine has an attached scarlet place-marker ribbon. The inside boards are noisily papered with odd maps and information. I kept the maps but covered what I did not need with vellum to make a place for jotting down quotes. The sheets are not perforated, which means no threat of a page growing ragged or falling out from use. Given its size, it fits okay in a tote or laptop bag, but may have problems being slipped into a backpack.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on April 25, 2012
I bought one of these to try out as I was in the market for a good casebound notebook to use for meeting notes at work. This is a sturdy, professional notebook that does lay flat and holds up well. I love the red bookmark that comes with it. However, I did not care at all for the glossy paper in the notebook. I write with gel, rollerball, and fountain pens mostly (uniball signos and bic 537rts) and I found that even after 5-10 minutes of "drying", the writing would still smear badly on this paper. So you have to write with ballpoints only on it.

Also, you should note that the ruling is wide, not college. My preference is college so this was a bigger deal for me than it might be for others.
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on January 26, 2011
I would give these notebooks 5 stars, except for one thing. They DO NOT have 192 sheets. They have 96 sheets, or 192 PAGES.

That fact aside, these are fantastic quality! Not to mention that they look very professional!

Like I said, 5 stars, if it weren't for the misinformation.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on January 25, 2013
I bought this in hopes that I could use it as my biology notebook. I've used those generic 70 sheet notebooks in the past and was never really satisfied with their quality. At the end of each semester I like to keep my notes just in case I ever have to refer back to them. I thought this would be the perfect solution. After two lectures in class I find that the notebook is somewhat difficult to keep open and I find myself fighting the front cover. Hopefully this will happen less as I start using more pages and the cover will be weighed down. Also the pages are long and narrow with no margin. This isn't really a big deal, but for someone who is used to clear margin markings it took some getting used to. The quality of the notebook is great, especially for the price. I'm also a fan of the red and black look. However, I probably wouldn't use this again as a traditional note taking notebook. It seems like it would be better used as a journal, sketchbook, or even sign in book. Reminds me of the in patient/ out patient book I use at the hospital.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on October 23, 2009
I've used a variety of different soft- and hardbound books for my "book of jobs" at work and am now several pages into a Black and Red casebound. Wonderful paper quality rivaling Rhodia in terms of smoothness. The extras you get - conversion tables, calendars, and so forth - are useful. Would be nice if it came in a 150 or 300 page version, but for the price this is a superb notebook.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 9, 2012
In the search of a decent notebook, I've often seen others who swear by Black n' Red notebooks, and figured I'd see what the big deal with them is. What you get in essence is a much more stylish notebook than your regular spiral bound notebook or composition notebook, and I do mean it is a lot fancier. It's nice to write in something that's professional yet has a hard binding on it, a composition notebook doesn't get you that and spiral bound always feel a little "cheap" no matter how nice you dress them up. My only gripe with using these is the paper, specifically the way the paper doesn't seem to curl correctly as you turn the pages, it's like they want to fold and the other thing is the paper is not very porous, so when I wrote with my favorite gel pens - that normally don't bleed, it had trouble drying quickly on it. So you're out of luck if you want to use fountain pens or gel pens on this, I strictly use ball points with it. Another reviewer wrote that the paper is also not archival quality - which isn't a huge deal for me, although I'll admit it would be nice to have something a little more permanent when you go to the lengths of producing such a nice looking notebook. In the end it's not bad, but it hasn't lived up to my expectations either.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on February 6, 2013
I bought three of the black and red notebooks after seeing them at staples. The poly spiral cover and the smaller a5 version of this book are great. The paper is smooth and I can use fountain pen with easy. This notebook, however, had a rougher paper, which was still smooth about the texture of copy paper, and was not fountain pen friendly. While the fountain pen did not competely fail on this notebook the ink feathered and there was some see through on the next page. In addition to this there was also a tiny bit of bleed through from where I had pressed "hard". I tested the paper that was in the other two notebook I order and they were a joy to write on espically with fountain pen. I do not know if this book was a "bad" one or if the entire line of notebook this size is faulty. It seems that the version I got was just a bad egg because other reviewers say the lines are light grey. In my a4 notebook they are a very dark grey but in the other two notebooks that I order the lines are a light grey and have wonderful paper. I will not order this version offline again because I cannot be sure of the quality I will be getting.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 21, 2012
This is my favorite notebook. It takes a fountain pen well, even with the inks that bleed on some of the better papers. I like this notebook better than some of the more expensive notebooks because the paper is that much better. Admittedly, some colors are a bit slow to dry. It opens and stays reasonably flat. There is even a ribbon to mark pages if you're into that kind of thing. The only limitations are the limitations of the casebound format: it's not as portable or light, and you can't rip out pages. (But why buy a casebound notebook if that's what you want?)

My concerns are mostly superficial. I wish the lines were lighter. I actually really like dot paper, but even lined paper can have more subtle lines. Also, I really don't like the maps and other tables inside the covers. I would prefer that these areas just be left blank. The table of contents is a thoughtful touch, but I would prefer to write in my own. More space without the extra column for "contacts" would be more useful. Overall, the notebook has a dignified appearance, except inside the covers.
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