The Canson 5.5 x 8.5 is my first sketchbook of this size. The above picture is the most current photo I have of it. Please excuse all the edges and dog-eared corners. XD This sketchbook is about 5 years old so I think it's lasted a good amount of time and I'm still using it. I want to try to use it up as much as possible before I move on. I didn't bring it everywhere but I did bring it along for a lot of trips. Fits well into a bag or a purse, much better than my larger sketchbooks. Right now I just use it at my desk since I didn't want to risk losing any pages on the road.
I actually really like the paper which is a nice off white shade. The paper has a little tooth and texture but it's hardly noticeable unless you really love smooth paper. I really like how it handles different media. Even handles fountain pen ink pretty good! Just make sure it's not too wet or it'll bleed through.
As you can see, the pages are perforated and I actually like it because I can't tear in a straight line if my life depended on it. Unfortunately, I didn't use the perforated pages enough to warrant the use of them because I wanted the items to stay in the sketchbook. Still it's nice and convenient. Haven't had any trouble with any of the pages falling out either.
The spiral binding didn't bother me too much or get caught on stuff. If the spirals did bother me I would just flip it so the spirals were on top (like in the photo below). It did get bent out of shape a little when I crammed it in a bag but I just pushed it back into place. A lot of my sketches posted will be from this sketchbook or my other larger one that I haven't reviewed yet.
Some sketches and experiments with some new inks and pens. I used Nooder's Bulletproof Black in my Noodler's Brush Pen. :) You can see how well the inks held up but I had no problems messing around with the different media in this sketchbook. If you do watercolor it does buckle a little but I don't mind too much. :D Colored pencil or pencil does smear so you'd have to use a fixative or something to prevent it from doing that. Otherwise I've just tried to learn to sketch with pens because they smear less. :D
Some close ups of other sketches showing the Lamy Blue Ink with my Lamy Aquamarine Safari. Just wanted to show how well it took the ink. :D Sorry for the not-so-great quality of the image but hopefully it gets the message across. Overall I really like this sketchbook which had pretty good paper in my opinion. :D Let me know if you've used them and if you like them or not! As always feel free to leave a comment or ask any questions! :)