Friday, 11 December 2009

Stationery Traffic

The other day Roses did a post  about her love for Stationery and lots of people rushed in (stationery traffic - geddit?!) to identify with this unusual fetish (or to grass up somebody they knew with the problem).

I used to think I was unusual in this and kept my habit to myself, pulling up the collar on my jacket and looking furtively up and down the street before diving headlong into WH Smiths, or the wonderful Paperchase, to muse over the moleskins, salivate over the Silvine Spiral Spun or peruse the Pentels. Even better were small Stationery independent shops which had the complete Filofax Range and loads of pre-printed Ledgers going back to the 50's with all manner of topics. The best Stationery Shops I every found were in Holland and Germany where they offered leatherbound notebooks with a grid square pattern printed on the pages which sends a frisson of excitement down my spine just to think of it.

There is a drawer of my desk which contains dozens of small notebooks, very few of which have been used but I just like to KNOW that they are there ready... along with the clear pencil case containing HB Pencils, a metal sharpener and a sketching pad should I ever decide to take up drawing.

There must be a psychological reason for this obsession. Perhaps it a branch of control-freakery, or a yearning for the pre-computer days where written communication had personality, style and permanence - non-volatile paper records last hundreds of years whereas these rambling keyboard taps will be merely dots and dashes in a few days - yesterday's computer chip rappings.

Now I've come OUT as a stationery freak I'd like a proper name for it. Any suggestions?


Christopher said...

I try to invent names for a stationary freak but I just come to a standstill.

Geoff said...

You are a card and a binder, sir.

Rog said...

Christopher: The notebooks have been gridlocked.

Geoff: I'm damned well going to give you a hole punch Sir!

Dave said...

In an attempt to help out (I have two drawers in my desk full of notebooks and pens) I asked mr Google about 'stationery fetish'. There's lots of help out there, including at least one blog devoted to the subject.

Sarah said...

Rog I think you need to get out more.....hope this helps.

Betty said...

Possibly related to a yearning for childhood?

When I was ten I was fixated with felt tip pen sets and coloured pencils. I would get very excited about visiting WH Smith in Walsall and buying pencils in really obscure colours.

Still, my obsession was probably down to the fact that I lived in a backwater where you'd get excited if a bus arrived at the station.

Rog said...

Dave: I'm going to start a Facebook Group. "My Name is David East and my Drawers are full of notebooks".

Sarah: Many a true word....

Betty: There was a lad at our school called Danny Tulip who always asked for new excercise books every other week - he had hundreds!

KAZ said...

I am a paperphile.
I used to spend hours of my holiday looking in E LeClerc the French supermarket.
French school kids have to buy their own exercise books etc - so they were streets ahead of UK in design and variety.

Did you know that French for paperclip is le trombone

Rog said...

A paperphile loves paper files
And Notebooks on their own
He loves the smell of Pentels
And the sound of Le Trombone.

Are you sure it wasn't T-Le Clerc which sounds like a make up name.

Anonymous said...

Mmmm, stationery... ahhh... yes.

All the possible reasons you mention ring true for me, Rog. Plus the textures, colors and smells (yes -- fresh paper!) involved in this peculiar hobby. I know what I speak of, having boxes of unused and useless notebooks, pens, and pencils.

Mmm... pencils...

And then there are calendars, with which it is so hard to part, even though it's been 10 years already...;)

And then... Ahem. Yes, we all have our foibles, don't we.

More seriously, penophilia? No? Maybe not.

BTW, agree with Betty that a yearning for childhood, or a memory of it, may be strongly involved here -- it is for me. I still remember the thrill of opening new boxes of pencils and sitting down over an empty page -- I could draw whatever I wanted!

Well, it was never much, but still, it was the promise and possibility that mattered.

Maybe that's what it is -- the promise and possibility, both of which shrink for us as we get older (and computerized), but the yearning remains, still embedded in those notebooks and pens -- or in our memories of them.

(I apologize, I tend to ramble after 3 am. Will try not to. Next time.)

Rosie said...

I think we should start a club or at the very least a Flickr site where we can share our amazing collection of notebooks, sketchbooks, handmade paper. Do not come to Spain. They have shops that do folders, portfolios...everything.

Rog said...

Elizabeth: Penophilia? I think that's what Shakespeare did. I'm pleased you've come out of the stationery closet.

Rosie: You're going to encourage an illicit Folder Tourism. I see why Kaz spends so much time in Barcalona now.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Rosie, I've always dreamed of going to Spain. Now I know why. They have shops that do folders?! That's kinky.

Macy said...

STATIONERY?? Nothing WEIRD about liking STATIONERY! It's those WEIRDOS who don't like it I worry about (them and anyone getting too close to my matching folders and notebook sets)

Billy said...

I could have written this blog post. In my case, it is due to growing up in a town where the only decent shops were Woolworths and WH Smith.