Is ruling size a deal-breaker?

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Our discussion about the small Habana’s ruling size reminds me of a broader conversation we had here a few years ago about whether people preferred narrow or wide notebook lines…

Narrow lines seemed to, er, rule the day among our commenters, but what I’d be curious to find out is how deep your preferences run. Have you rejected a notebook you liked otherwise because the ruling was too fat or skinny? Is it one of the factors you check before deciding to try a new brand?

10 thoughts on “Is ruling size a deal-breaker?

  1. I now have an entire shelf of the Clairefontaine staple-bound and cloth-bound notebooks for writing projects. Seems like a lot of people answering are F and M nibbers. But it also seems like a lot of people are journaling in the narrow lined. I’m buying and using the economy 10 packs of notebooks, so I don’t have time for artistic. I’m going for speed and ease of use.

    Next time that shelf is clear, I’m considering switching to the top bound, 3 hole punched Rhodia pads that I could put into large ring binders for large writing projects instead of labelling the outside of the notebook and stowing them in a box. Painful when you lose volume 3Biv of the project because it fell down behind a shelf!

    Webbies are too tiring on my aging eyes with lack of contrast and dulling of the brighter/lighter colors of ink I currently use. I’m guessing those who stick to “business” colors don’t have the same complaint.

    If I’m spending big bucks on Iroshizuku ink, I certainly don’t want cream paper behind those glorious colors.

    As long as the Clairefontaine white paper is out there, I’ll be the minority vote.

    Any word on whether the colored Rhodias will come in larger sizes than 3×5? Will they have white paper or colored?

  2. Rulings are definitely a deal-breaker for me. I hate being cramped, and will not buy anything with less than wide lines no matter how much I might like it otherwise.

  3. I definitely prefer narrow ruling as I want to get the most I can on a page.

    I have rejected notebooks because the ruling is too wide, and I have also rejected notebooks if all of the notebooks are wrapped in plastic, and there isn’t a sample open so I can see the ruling.

    I’ve also sent comments to on-line retailers asking them to please include the rulings in their specifications.

  4. I like narrow ruling because my writing is generally small. If I find narrow ruling overcrowding I will just leave a space between my lines. Yes, I have rejected notebooks because of ruling size, but mostly those that have far too wide-apart lines. Such as those which are more than 1 cm wide. Then again, I tend to prefer unruled notebooks and papers. 🙂

  5. I have small writing (if I’m writing for pleasure. If I’m writing for work I write to fit into the spaces provided, or large to make sure my coworkers don’t miss corrections, etc.) and MUCH prefer narrow rules or even better, 5×5 grid or dot grid “ruling”. I have specifically bought books because they were available in either grid or dot grid and reluctantly avoided other books because they aren’t.

    As a matter of fact, I have a small collection of Clairfontaine side-stapled notebooks that are sitting unused because I keep reaching for grid or dot grid notebooks instead. I’ll use them eventually, but the wider rule is just too much wasted space for me…

  6. It seems like most of the commentators like the narrow ruling and have smaller writing. I always liked wider rule so that it doesn’t crowd my writing. I always chose wide over college-ruled paper in school. It definitely annoys me when the ruling is too small in journals, so I would count that as a consideration when choosing a notebook.

  7. If the ruling is too wide I will either take a blank version, a 5mm square/dot grid version or find an alternative – I write a lot and have small writing, I use notebooks very quickly and with wide lines I use them up even more quickly and feel I am wasting trees!

    I use a guide sheet if I use a blank notebook, I have a sheet of thin card with jet black lines drawn at 5mm intervals I slip behind the page.

  8. I have rejected a notebook based on the ruling. In fact, I didn’t use my old Habana as a main notebook because the ruling was too wide. I write small and just felt that the wider ruling was a waste of space. I can understand if you write bigger and you need more room so that your writing doesn’t look as if it’s being smashed together though. But, as a personal preference, I like narrow spacing and buy/use notebooks that have it.

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