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A chequebook is a book of blank cheques; in America, we call it a checkbook, and fill it with checks. However, this is not simply a matter of divergent spelling. The chequebook is a slightly different beast than the checkbook.

American checkbooks are almost always bound along the top edge of the check, whereas in the UK the books are usually bound along the left side. This means that American checkbooks absolutely do not want to stay open, making them a bit inconvenient to write in, but it also means that UK chequebooks are quite annoying to use if you are left-handed.

It is also standard to have checks separated by sheets of carbon paper in America, but not in the UK. Chequebooks make up for this by having a stub that remains when you rip the cheque off, on which one might might duplicate the cheque info by hand, if one is sufficiently fastidious. The result is that used American checkbooks are somewhat rumpled and wizened, but otherwise full-sized and full of information, and used British chequebooks are pleasingly compact stub-sized mini-booklets containing highly variable amounts of data.

A quick Google image search would indicate that the Canadian chequebook is in fact simply an American-style checkbook with a weirdly misspelled name.


Feedback from readers indicate that many American checkbooks no longer have carbon paper, and that left side binding is often presented as an option for those who prefer it.

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