A slightly mysterious notebook from Shanghai

My friend Rich bought back this really cool notebook from Shanghai recently. I’ve been wanting to share it for a while but have been unsure what to say about it, because it’s a bit of a mystery to me… He got it from a shop called XTD Giftique, but there’s nothing at all on it to indicate who it’s made by, which is strange.


The paper is half grid, half blank, with red and green lines. It’s strange as well because on one side the paper is waxy and smooth and on the other it’s quite rough.


I was trying to show the waxiness in this picture… But it hasn’t really worked. Anyway, does anyone know if this is a certain kind of notebook? Used for something specific? Or is it just a design…?


My ultimate favourite thing about the notebook though is the exposed binding. I always love exposed binding; I like anything that shows how things work that you don’t normally see.

Anyway, it’s very cool, I think you’ll agree, but it’s also a bit of a mystery (unintentional poem).

EDIT (03/03/15): A super helpful commenter below has informed me that the notebook is for young children practicing their Hanzi, or Chinese characters. I think I may have been looking at it upside down too… Ooops!


Nice get! Shanghai is full of random stationery stores with notebooks and supplies of dubious origins. That notebook is for younger kids for practicing Hanzi or Chinese characters. Notice how the grid is divided into big boxes with four smaller ones indicated on the inside? Hanzi are supposed to be written as a square and the little boxes help with aligning the pieces. The paper is for ink and brush calligraphy, so you’d only write on one side. Hope this helps!

Posted 3 years ago by CDanidu Reply

    This is SO USEFUL! Thank you so much!!! How interesting! Maybe I was looking at it upside down… Ooops!

Oops, forgot to mention the large box is for an example character with stroke order. Like this http://cf.mp-cdn.net/62/57/768b9114a560ae4410eb3a6e1858.jpg

Posted 3 years ago by CDanidu Reply

No problem 🙂 honestly I think it would be a cute one photo per page scrapbook if you use it upside down!

Posted 3 years ago by CDanidu Reply

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