Notebooks are a necessity but sometimes you have to wonder if teachers are getting kickbacks from companies. When one of the boys started taking an advanced science class one of the things on his ‘required item list’ was an Avery Stuffer Three-Subject Notebook. Let’s be blunt here, there’s nothing new about the concept of the Stuffer; it’s a glorified notebook with an internal pocket, pressboard dividers and internally thread metal spine. It is sturdy and well made but there are only fifty sheets per section and even though it is a college rule, you aren’t going to get a lot of use out of this if you are a heavy note taker.
Avery throws around a lot of fancy wording with The Stuffer; things like “coil lock” and “easy-perf” may work to impress come people but being a seasoned office supply buyer and self admitted pen addict, I am use to clever wording and see right through it. That doesn’t mean that this is a bad product but Avery is acting like they reinvented the wheel with this. I do have to admit this; the pages do tear away easily, the margins are even, the metal spine is moron proof and the overall look of it is pretty slick. Does that mean that it’s worth four dollars? To me, flat out, no. But since this was a course requirement I couldn’t exactly walk into the class and start debating the point with the instructor.
I can see the benefits of buying something like this; if a page comes loose you can tuck it into the pocket, end of story. Then again, you could do the same thing with a piece of tape but that would too easy. Seeing as how I was bullied into buying this I wanted to see if it was going to be strong enough to handle a semester of being tossed around in a backpack. When I tried to rip the pressboard cover off of it frustration set in and I squinted my eyes in defeat. The next test was ripping out pages to see if it was a true ‘micro perf’; again, my attempts were in vain as each sheet came away clean with no rips or tears. My final self-test was the pocket; I knew that it would end up ripping if I tugged on it hard enough and sure enough, the side section started to give away but in defense of the Stuffer, it’s more than adequate to hold papers.
My son started using this at the beginning of the standard school year and used this only for one class; less than two months later he had filled up the first two sections of the notebook and started on the third. The instructor wasn’t counting on having such a huge geek in his class and sent home a note stating that he needed to purchase another Stuffer notebook; but instead of allowing him to buy a five-subject one he insists that it be a three-subject one. Go figure. If you know someone is going to be taking a lot of notes then tell them to get the five-subject 250 sheet one instead of wasting money on the three-subject one.
Even though I have some real issues with the instructor basically demanding that this be purchased I can see why it is something that is in high demand. The lines are perfect from page to page, the college rule does allow for more note taking and the overall assembly of it far exceeded my initial thoughts of it and how it would hold up. I wouldn’t suggest this for most people because of the price of it; sure it is a cool looking thing but there are others just as nice for half the price. I wish the instructor would have told them to get the five-subject version of The Stuffer; it’s always better to have left over sheets in a notebook than not enough.