Which left-handed notebooks are best?
Finding the right stationery is crucial to writing and drawing well. Left-handers, in particular, struggle to find writing products like notebooks that they enjoy writing in.
Most notebooks on the market have a binding, the part that prevents the book from lying flat, that does not accommodate a left-hander’s writing style. Their hands get covered in ink and they find it impossible to write a list without wrestling with the pages.
Notebooks like Field Notes: LEFT-HANDED Original Kraft Ruled Paper will make the left-hander writing experience a lot easier and pleasant.
Types of bindings in left-handed notebooks
Notebooks with stitch bindings are flat and don’t have any wire spiral or metal rings that can obstruct your hand from writing on the other side of a notebook. These notebooks have bindings with stitching on the left that keep the pages from falling out.
Side staple books are an inexpensive alternative to stitch-bound books that provide the same convenience of writing without binding that gets in the way. These notebooks open flat, making it easy to write on for both left- and right-handed people. However, they don’t have many pages.
Glue-bound books have no obstacles that get in the way when writing since the book is bound together by glue. The bindings of notebooks for left-handers are on the left and provide a flat surface for writing. The only inconvenience is that the pages could become unglued and fall out.
Top wire or top staple
These notebooks have a wire that’s either stitched or stapled at the top of the book, making it easy for left-handers to write on it. However, it is difficult to write near the top of the page where the staples and spirals are.
A notebook with Swiss binding allows the spine and front cover of the book to lay flat across the centerfold. It consists of several book blocks bound to the inside back of the cover with either thread stitching, binding tape or adhesive binding.
These notebooks have a continuous plastic strip or spiral wire that passes through holes on one edge of the book. Spiral-bound notebooks can work for left-handers if the spiral is found on the right side or at the top of the notebooks.
What to look for in a quality left-handed notebook
A thoughtfully chosen left-handed notebook can encourage creative thinking, boost your focus and make the writing process fun and something to look forward to. Here are some features to keep in mind when buying a left-handed notebook:
Number of pages
The number of pages in notebooks ranges from a few to a few hundred pages. If you have a lot of information that you would like to note down, a thick book with a high page count is the best option. Thinner notebooks are light and easy to carry around, which makes them ideal if you don’t need so many pages.
Cover material and design
Notebooks come with different types of covers made with thick cardstock, leather, hard chipboard, plastic or leatherette. Some manufacturers make books with covering materials in the form of sleeves and built-in pockets.
Notebooks are available in standard paper sizes, such as A4, A5 and A6. You’ll also find left-hand notebooks in other sizes like:
- Passport size (3.54 x 4.92 inches)
- Pocket size (3.5 x 5.5 inches)
- Standard size (4.33 x 8.26 inches)
- B6 size (5.03 x 7.16 inches)
- B5 size (7.48 x 9.84 inches)
Paper is measured by weight in pounds per square meter or in grams. Thicker pages can withstand erasing and have less show-through. Thicker does not always mean better — if you’re using a fountain pen, the ink can bleed into the paper and cause feathering. Paper that’s too thin can tear and leave indentations on other pages.
Notebook manufacturers offer a range of different sheet styles like plan, graph and lined. The style that you choose comes down to personal preference and use. Artists prefer plain notebooks where they can sketch, ruled and lined books are ideal for writing and grids work best for engineers and scientists.
Notebooks with perforation allow you to tear pages. Books with closely perforated lines are a good option as you can get a clean tear whenever you remove a page. If you prefer a notebook without holes pierced in the pages, choose an unperforated one.
How much you can expect to spend on a left-handed notebook
Left-handed notebooks cost anywhere between $5-$40, depending on the page count, page thickness, the quality of the cover and its contents and the size. In general, you’ll find a good quality left-handed notebook in the $10-$30 price range.
Left-handed notebook FAQ
Should I use a hardcover or softcover left-handed notebook?
A. Both hard and softcover notebooks are suitable for left-handers. Soft notebooks have a flexible spine that helps the book lay flat. However, the page binding can be stiff and the pages will need to be broken a couple of times before they stay down. If you would like a hardcover notebook to lay flat nicely, choose one with a rounded spine that has more room for the pages inside to bend away from each other.
How can I write better in a left-handed notebook?
A. Good writing comes down to a combination of four elements: posture, page orientation, pencil grip and lettering formation. When you know how to work with these elements, you’ll be able to write well.
- Posture: Be seated comfortably with a straight back. Tilt your head slightly angled towards the page but not too close that you have to slump.
- Page orientation: The top of the page must be rotated 20-30 degrees clockwise. Combine this with the right wrist and grip position for a clear view of what’s being written.
- Pen grip: Hold the pen in the three-point pinch grip by resting the pen on the last segment of the middle finger near the nail and holding it with the tip of the thumb and index finger. The forearm should rest gently on the table.
- Letter formation: Unlike right-handed writers, left-handers have to use the same muscles to form letters in a different order, which can slow down their writing. To deal with this, they need to use soft pens and pencils and cross the bars of letters like (A, E, F, T, X, etc.) from right to left.
What are the best left-handed notebooks to buy?
Top left-handed notebook
What you need to know: This three-pack is a vintage-style pocketbook that’s functional and easy to use.
What you’ll love: This 48-page stitch-bound notebook contains lined pages printed with soy-based ink. The pages are manufactured with 60-pound (90 GSM) Finch Opaque, acid-free paper offering a pleasurable writing experience. The covers are made from 80-pound kraft cardstock, a durable material that withstands tearing and curling.
What you should consider: If you use a fountain pen, the ink bleeds through the paper and feathers.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top left-handed notebook for the money
What you need to know: With the wire on the right side, left-handers will not have to worry about it getting in the way while writing in this notebook.
What you’ll love: This one-subject 100-page notebook has smooth, white, college-ruled paper with a red margin line and is perforated for an easy tear-out. The notebook cover comes in assorted colors and is made with a 16-point Saranac board. It also has a built-in pocket to keep loose sheets and other items. The wire ends are coil-locked, which prevents snagging.
What you should consider: Some users received notebooks that had pocket folders that were upside down and had paper that was backward.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This notebook with a quirky name and cover art offers a smooth and simple left-hand writing experience.
What you’ll love: The book contains 120 pages made with ink-friendly 80 GSM paper and is used from back to front. The paper is 1/4-inch ruled and has 39 lines per page. The cover is made with solid and durable material and includes two contrasting bookmarks.
What you should consider: Some buyers said that it’s just a regular notebook that’s reversed and had no other special features for left-handers.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Seline Shenoy writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.