Some months ago, while browsing at Essex Card Shop (which can be an all-day affair in itself), this couple came through the notebook/journal aisle to pick up a few things. The guy was ecstatic when he saw the Mead Cambridge Business Notebook, exclaiming to all (his girlfriend and me) that this was THE. BEST. NOTEBOOK. EVER. and he loved it so much he'd bought a case from the Shop's owner and got a nice discount. At $4.59 plus tax, the notebook is priced at more than a regular Mead notebook and slightly less or about the same as a much smaller Rhodia or Clairefontaine. Now I was really intrigued, but didn't want to seem like I'd been eavesdropping (hard to do in that small space) so I didn't buy one then.
On a recent trip to the Shop I decided the time was right and bought one. And he's right, this is a fantastic notebook; as I don't care for graph or quadrille blocks on my writing surface (except for Doane Paper), that's quite something. I've gotten to like writing in this notebook, perhaps because the deep ivory color is a favorite of mine and the lines are so light they don't distract from the words.
This Mead Cambridge Business Notebook has 70 pages of quadrille ruled, 4-squares-to-the-inch deep ivory paper. At the beginning of the notebook are two large Moleskine-like pockets for notes and whatnot; at the end is a thick piece of chipboard/cardboard, which gives the notebook a stiff surface for writing or drawing. The heavyweight bond paper has pale gray or blue lines forming the squares, not noticeable but definitely there. The pages are 8.5" by 11" in a single ring binder, and the paper is perforated for easy removal. Interetingly, this notebook has two covers: a white one with lots of info about Mead Cambridge Notebooks and a black one with just the Mead Cambridge logo. Take your choice, both look good. (Black and white cat not included.)
The heavy ivory paper scritches when you write on it, but otherwise it isn't scratchy and doesn't interfere with the pen moving smoothly across the surface. I tried it out with two fountain pens and a Sharpie fine point, and there is no bleed through but there is a decent shadow effect, so double-sided writing may not be possible. I havent used a Mead notebook in years, but this is a great find and I will keep it in the immediate rotation for work and home use. It's wallet-friendly and good-looking, two things I do like in my notebooks.