Last weekend I took a class where we learned to make books using coptic bookbinding. We each made a hardcover book with folded paper pages, sewn with exposed, braided stitching. These books are fairly simple to make, and she showed us one that she's been carrying around for most of a year, and it's still in great shape. This would be good for journals and general notebooks that need to be able to travel without falling apart.
On the first afternoon, we made the covers. These are chipboard covered with fancy paper.
On the second afternoon, we folded the pages (folios), punched holes in everything, and sewed the books together.
The end result was pretty decent for a first effort, if I do say so myself! (And, I do)