Jul 30, 20162279 views

B5 Notebook Covers

While I do love notebooks of all sizes, for my work and research I prefer B5. It's a happy middle; A5 won't fit most equations in one line and A4 is a bit too unwieldy as my notebook has to share desktop space with a keyboard (mechanical of course), a mouse, other notebooks, coffee mug...
Currently I use the Apica CDS120S,
the Stalogy S4102,
and I am eagerly awaiting delivery of the Book of Ra.
As you can see all of them are softcover, and here's my problem: while there is a glut of slip-on covers in A5, there seems to be practically nothing in B5. Sure there is the LihitLab Smart Fit and the Kokuyo Systemic, but they are more like cases and way too bulky. Really, the only viable option I could find anywhere, after a considerable period of googling, is the Shachihata Opini, shipped from Japan.
Can this be it? B5 notebooks are not exactly rare, and pretty much all good options are softcover. You'd think acquiring a cover for one is just a matter of selecting one you like. Am I missing something? Is there a secret keyword that unlocks a vault of hidden gems? Can anyone suggest an option? I did come across plenty of standard composition covers, but the dimensions are off.
Renni-Natalya Collins, steve, and 20 others

It's still possible to find the older Kokuyo Systemic covers, which are pretty slim in profile.

Taobao has m options, but a lot of their B5 stuff is faux leather and styled for the corporate office.ot of other stuff inside besides the notebook. Not that much more bulky mthan a heavy leather cover.
Taobao has many options, but a lot of their B5 stuff is faux leather and styled for the corporate office.

You can also always make your own covers. Lots of tutorials on that on youtube. I've been thinking of making some hard bookcloth notebook covers.
Baron Fig makes a B5 hardcover, the Confidant Plus is 7"x10" https://www.baronfig.com/pages/confidant I'd love to find a leather cover for it.
Baron Fig makes a B5 hardcover, the Confidant Plus. It is 7" x 10" (178mm x 254mm). It's very nice but I'd like to find a nice leather cover for it. https://www.baronfig.com/pages/confidant
You can order a custom leather cover from Renaissance Art in New Mexico. You pick the leather from a selection, give them the dimensions of the notebook, and they'll do the rest. I've purchased a number of them over the last couple of years. Large basic book cover (up to 7X10) base price is 59.00. These will last a lifetime and have an unconditional warranty. Pictured is one of mine.
Most recently, my favorite notebook is the Midori MD modified A4, which is slightly smaller than a full size A4. It also offers several cover options, including plastic, sturdy paper, and even goat leather.
I really like Midori MD covers I use both the A5 plastic and cardboard covers, and I pretty much 'ogled' the leather cover but at over $70...
I jumped. I've looked online for leather covers and they start at $70 on up. I even saw one for $174! @Theroc, I also looked at the tools and leather to make my own and it was in this Allegory range.
Yeah I think I will too, even though the one I had custom-made for my notebook cost almost half this.
@j-e-g@KnomadThey've just dropped the Allegory B5 cover. Yaayy.....ohh... Sticker shock!
For general note taking and journaling, I prefer a Rhodia Webbie which have replaced my old general-purpose, government-issue steno pads. I am used to the old 6x8 steno pads, and find the Webbies are very similarly sized, but with vastly superior paper that I do not need to dump several dollars worth of Washi tape, glue, and PostIt Notes to make work.
For notes that I am going to rip the pages out and stick in one of my binders, I prefer A5 sized paper. I just do not use a B5-sized notepad very much. I do use quite a few 3x5 notepads. In the Rangers, we used Rite in the Rain pads almost exclusively. Now that I am retired, I have fallen in love with the refillable Lihit Lab pads. Thankfully, the Lihit Lab pads fit into my old Rite in the Rain nylon covers.
I still use several Rite in the Rain zipper-closure nylon covers for notepads and small journals. Might give them a look for covers as well. I use quite a few of the Rite in the Rain 7x5 and 6x9 nylon covers for my notebooks and steno pads.
@Theroc I recognize @Liz ... However I don't know @Knomad. I wonder if If he/she would be interested in @AllegoryGoods I have considered getting my hands on some leather and tools ... I learned how to work with leather in my University days.... Wondering if I might take a shot at making one. I had a friend sew a fabric cover that is easy to refill standard 8 1/2 x 11 bagasse perforated notebooks I bumped into onlne :) . It is pretty darn good paper for everyday use, notes and scribbles. But, it sounds like some folks would really be interested in the @AllegoryGoods B5 leather journal covers. I'll have to look for your friend Knomad in future posts :)
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Good Morning @Theroc - I was eager to watch the news about the hurricane this morning. It was headed toward my hometown where I have many friends and family. Will be anxiously waiting to hear how they weathered the storm. Your post was a good distraction... Started my morning with a :) Love the cover you had made. It is almost identical to the one my friend made... (mine is red bandana print with black trim) I decided against pockets on the cover because I thought it would make a bump that would affect writing on the left page. Have you found that to be a problem or no ? The pen pockets on your cover look nice and flat. I also have a canvas one for a standard graph composition book. I use it for drawing out wood projects. It's taken a beating in the garage. Actually it is nice that it is cloth because I can toss it in the wash. I'll have to show you a couple pen wraps that were sewn for me :) I would think most folks like @Liz @Knomad and yourself probably wouldn't use a nice @AllegoryGoods B5 leather cover in the garage to get full of sawdust and dirt.
Oh, wow. That grazing path is monstrous. I hope this beast veers off into the Atlantic where it came from. Wish your family and friends best of luck. I had already used the first dozen pages or so, when I got the cover. So the pockets weren't an issue. I went with cloth purely for variety, I even had one made out of paper. Leather is still the most gratifying, though.
Yes, I'll join in! Hello, @Liz @AllegoryGoods We would love to see a B5 notebook cover from you great folks.
If I am not mistaken the Japanese B5 such as Life Noble and Apica CD are slightly larger than western B5. Life Noble B5 have become my favorite notebooks.
Just asked Allegory if they could do a drop of B5 covers. Their reply "Allegory -We just might be working on the prototypes right now :) although we cannot confirm nor deny such a statement." Fingers crossed folks!
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So you are saying folks should perhaps mention @Liz @AllegoryGoods ?? ;)
Yes, yes. I think if we mentioned @Liz and @AllegoryGoods a few times they might hear us. I think we should mention @Knomad too, he might want to join in mentioning @Liz and @AllegoryGoods :D
Fantastic, that would be great to see this dropped on here -- this image of the 3 colors stacked also gives a good sense of what they look like: http://exploredoc.com/doc/8120839/
if you don't mind paying a bit extra, my best notebook cover is from Knoxbrain, a Japanese brand with the most supple leather I have felt. Comes in a B5 size too!
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Oh yeah interesting, I found that one listed for ~50: http://global.rakuten.com/en/store/sky-connect/item/b00kmkudw8/ (searching through google brought up some other colors too)
That led me to this one, which looks like it could be great for the Apica: http://global.rakuten.com/zh-tw/store/onsoku-hassouya/item/4970090339723/
Great finds. The cheapest Knox Brain B5 cover I could find was well over $200. Though I have to admit I ignored any non-English pages. I also ignored Rakuten Global because of perceived inaccessibility. The 2nd one, however, now that is something else. I searched for CDV250 and it led me straight to Apica's own website. It's the real McCoy; an Apica B5 cover for Apica B5 notebooks. It takes two 40-sheet notebooks or a single 96-sheet. They make them in several colors too. This is a prime candidate for a massdrop.
Found a cover at Wal-Mart and before that at office supply in "cheap" organizers/calendars. Blue Sky, See it Bigger
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I am using 5.5 x 8.5 x .75, cover inside is 9 x13.5, all inches, blue sky is 9.0 x 12.5
B5 is about 6.9 x 9.8". The See-It-Bigger I found on Amazon fits 7x9.2" refills. So it might work. I doubt it though.
I also prefer B5 and really like the Quo Vadis Habana, which is hardcover -- would love to see that dropped on here: https://www.amazon.com/Quo-Vadis-Habana-Journal-6-25X9-25/dp/B0066NVCUC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1470411171&sr=8-1&keywords=quo+vadis+habana
I've also spent a lot of time searching for a B5 cover without luck -- Knomad's ideas sound great -- perhaps MassDrop can reach out to Alchemy and ask them to do a B5 cover.
It'd also be great to see a B5 notebook drop in general -- the Apica above is fantastic, and also glad to learn about the Stalogy and Book of Ra.
Apica have recently released hardcover versions of their Premium A5 notebooks in Japan, they are not available in the US yet. An Apica B5 hardcover drop would be a dream, of course Apica would have to make them 1st. I am sure Massdrop and Allegory could put together a B5 cover drop, if there is enough interest. Maybe I'll start a poll.
I write on B5 notebooks as well. Life makes a leather-like vinyl cover. Nanami Paper sells them but the covers have been out of stock for over a month now. I was hoping enough folks would have joined me in my comment on the Allegory A5 cover offering, and maybe they would make a B5 version. Of course they are soft covers too. I don't mind a softcover, as I use a writing mat made of plastic. Still having a cover to protect the notebook would be nice. I've seen the LihitLab Smart Fit and I certainly don't want something that looks like a chopped up pair of cargo pants. I'd like something thats leather and has a rugged look like Allegory's A5. Lets hope someone hears us.
Yes, I found the B5 cover at Nanami early on, not in stock, as you said. Mochithings too, are out of clear vinyl covers in any size except the tiniest. The Smart Fit, is more of a case, a backpack substitute, really. I am sure Allegory would make a perfectly-fitting custom B5 cover, but I'm already having them work on a custom project for me, and I do not want to inve$t that much in notebook covers at the moment. A B5 drop, however, is a different matter...
Hmm, interesting. I think a B5 cover would make a good Massdrop Exclusive.
Personally, I like B5 size notebooks, but I always overlook them since A5 or A6 fits better in my bag for more frequent use. I think the B5 would be perfect at work though - stacks nicely against a laptop for going from meeting to meeting, and has a good amount of space for notes but isn't as cumbersome as an A4.