How fortunate we are to live in an age of convenient, endless variety - notebook selection is no exception, and our choices are usually about taste, utility and quality, balanced with cost, which makes value judgments anything but straightforward.
However, when faced with similar notebooks, each of which can get the job done, cost really can drive choice. So, although form factor, that is, page sizes, page counts, cover styles, lines or no lines, etc., are important - the consideration can be about how many words you can write and pictures you can draw in the space available vs. the price paid. In other words, what sometimes matters is how much surface area you get for your money, and an accurate conclusion along those lines requires some math.
In the table below, we've listed some of the more popular notebooks (in size A5-ish...the exception is the Field Notes notebook, just to put things in even more perspective), and calculated their "square inches per dollar", based on data gathered on October 20, 2014. As you can see, the Seven Seas Writer (SSW), while it has the highest price, actually offers more value per dollar than the rest of the books in the list. We would also like to point out that the SSW has more than twice as many pages than almost every notebook listed.
|Notebook Name||Source||Height (inches)||Width (inches)||Pages*||Total Area in Square Inches||Price (USD)||Square Inches per Dollar|
|Seven Seas Writer||Nanami Paper||8.30||5.80||480||23,107||$29.00||797|
|Clairefontaine Basic Large Clothbound||Amazon||8.25||6.00||192||9,504||$12.53||758|
|Life Noble Note||Nanami Paper||8.30||5.80||200||9,628||$14.40||669|
|Apica Premium||Nanami Paper||8.30||5.80||192||9,243||$14.70||629|
|Midori MD||Nanami Paper||8.30||5.80||176||8,473||$14.00||605|
|Baron Fig Confidant||Baron Fig||7.7||5.4||192||7,983||$16.00||499|
|Shinola Medium Soft Linen Cover||Shinola||8.25||5.25||192||8,316||$17.95||463|
|Quo Vadis Habana||Amazon||9.25||6.25||160||9,250||$27.05||342|
|Field Notes||Field Notes||5.50||3.50||144||2,772||$9.95||279|
If you have any questions about this, please feel free to contact me!