It's not actually expensive if you use it right, and it's made my life as a reporter much easier. It's tough as nails, both the cover and the paper, so it takes a lot of abuse. Disposable notepads don't fair well in my purse (or my life), but this does. The other reporter notepads (the disposable ones) have only 70 pages, while this has 192. With thicker paper and hard covers front and back, it's easy to flip it over and start using pages from the back forward once the front pages are filled. I would go batty if I had to do that with TOPS or whatever (and it would get torn up, be hard to read with thin paper written on both sides). So, I actually get 384 pages for 9.60, which is $0.025 per page. The cheapest TOPs on Amazon comes out at $0.029 per page since I would not use both sides of the thin pages. So, I get a bargain, always have a hard surface to write on, the covers protect my pages from various mishaps, and it looks classy too.