Something About Stationery…

I had been mulling the idea of doing something regular on stationery last year and then thought that it might not appeal to those people who are looking for something bookish in their blog reading diet. However, after I did the post the other week on finding some of the stationery that Gran used to use and now adding it to my collection (which I will share with you shortly) it seems that as a general rule of thumb book lovers love notebooks almost as much as they love books themselves.

For me the joy of heading into a stationery shop is actually close to the thrills of a bookshop. I wonder if that just means I am addicted to some subliminal mass paper high of sorts but I can spend ages and ages and ages perusing and coveting endless notebooks, pens, recipe holders, book journals, multi-coloured dividers… I could go on. In fact, and I can probably say this now without getting into heaps of trouble, when I used to be an office manager I was a companies nightmare, I didn’t want the cheapest stuff I wanted the nicest stuff – but not just for me, for everyone. Budget permitting of course… Cough!

Anyway over time I have created quite a collection (I used to work far too near a chain I wont name, other than to say it starts with paper and ends in chase, oops) over the years though shockingly all of these are pristine, I haven’t written in a single one of them as yet. I just like to know they are there…


This is very bad as people close to me will know how often the phrase ‘oh, I need a new notepad’ is uttered. And then one must be found. Yet oddly I end up using scrap paper because I cant bear to make mistakes in a book. Is that weird? I also have started getting stationery catalogues, its dangerous.


Anyway, I have now decided that I must do some regular(ish) stationery feature, the question is what? I have been thinking on and off all day (between working from home with a fever, sniffs and sneezes aptly as typing) and it might be my fuzzy brain but I can’t think of something fun, quirky and original to do. So I thought I would ask you and, as a reward, whoever comes up with the best idea or ideas will win some stationery (not the cheap or boring stuff I don’t mind scribbling all over) or vouchers you can spend on stationery.

I want ideas for a post format or themed posts that could be a series of stationery delights. So have a think and let me know. You have until midnight Saturday when I will pick one idea and do an example post the following Monday to show who has won and what they have won… Get thinking and brainstorming in your bound paper books of note joy. I can’t wait to see what you come up with.


Filed under Random Savidgeness

17 responses to “Something About Stationery…

  1. Sue N

    Stationery snap? I have a good percentage of the notebooks on your main pic. Photos to be sent of the same notebook plus a compelling reason why it was bought, what it was used for/could be used for etc.

    I’ve kept a journal in a variety of notebooks for 40 years, on and off. It’s the only friend who is there 24/7, never gets bored and never judges.

  2. Oo good idea!! I belong to the loves-stationery-collects-stationery category too and wouldn’t mind reading about a few places where I could find more pretty and/or whimsical items to add to my already overcrowded desk.

  3. kaggsysbookishramblings

    As a stationery addict with a huge box full of unused notebooks which, like you, I’m almost scared to use, I’d love features on novel uses for notebooks and the best way to get over the fear of putting pen on paper! Also some advice on how to resist – I often have to force myself *not* to go into our local TK Maxx which has the most individual and unusual stationery at times….. 🙂

  4. I’m glad to see someone else has as many unused notebooks as me. And I still like to buy new ones. I’m a big fan of Paperchase.
    Hmmm. Maybe top 5 places to buy stationery? Top 5 stationery items? Top 5 notebooks/top 5 pens/top 5 other items? Top 5 uses for notebooks?! So many possibilities. Many bookshops now sell lovely notebooks etc too, so it’s definitely book related! 🙂

  5. I think I have the same sickness as you. I looooove notepads and always pick one up when I find interesting one, especially on holiday. I do use them though so no worries. And yes I love them almost as much as books. 😀

  6. I just started my PhD, and I have so many notebooks that I decided to see if I could get through my whole degree without buying a new one. This went well until Sunday, when I bought a new Moleskine. Alas.

    In any case, ever since I discovered Atoma notebooks (to me the most brilliant invention ever) and learned that they’re used by schoolchildren in Belgium and considered quite mundane there, I’ve been itching to learn more about the common brands and chains of stationary in different counties. I’ve been wanting to write a blog series to that effect for a couple years now and still haven’t, so the idea is yours if it appeals!

  7. I think you should pick a notebook, write a date at the top and write best moment of day and worst moment of day on each page. Maybe only do week days to give yourself a break. Share some of those moments with us.

  8. Christopher

    Here in Australia we have a bird called the Satin Bowerbird. The male, a beautiful midnight blue, builds his nest on the ground and to the usual mix of twigs and bark adds objects scavenged from the vicinity, anything and everything blue: caps and lids from biros and aerosol cans; clothes pegs; I saw a child’s blue toothbrush in a nest once…

    Collecting notebooks is a similar compulsion: a nesting instinct, and a very sweet kind of sickness. A sickness because these blank notebooks take up valuable space in your place, space which could be filled with something you love even more: namely, books with words in them, wonderful works of imagination…Not saying you need to choose between your compulsions, but…

    Why not start to give your notebooks away? And why not write a little something in each as you do?

    A monthly column, prefaced with a photo of the notebook and a photo of the inside page in which you write an inscription to the person you gift the notebook. That inscription could be a little story. When and where were you when you bought the notebook? What was the day like, what was the shop like? What was it about the cover that attracted you? What did you think you might write in the notebook? Acknowledge that you haven’t and probably won’t write in it, and give it away. Why do you think this person might like this notebook, or what you like to see them use it for?

    You could follow up the next month and we could read about how your mate is using your gift: be it for something as mundane as shopping lists and recipes, as personal as a diary, or as a place to collect all the first lines to all those unwritten novels in their head…Importantly, you’d be giving us all a little inspiration…

    Over time the column would turn into a diary of sorts, recording your travels through bookshops and stationery shelves, providing recommendations, and adding to what is already a wonderfully intimate and honest blog.

    Keep buying notebooks. Keep em for a while then give em away. And tell us a little story in the process, Simon.

  9. I have only recently started using a couple of my notebooks and tend to only write in them in pencil (though I’m also a pen collector). I just worry because I only have the chance to use a notebook once and what if I want it later for something else?! Yes, first world problems, I know.
    Today I went to the office supply store and agonized over which style of tape strip to choose on the top of a lined paper pad. Yes, agonized over approximately 3/4 of an inch of design over regular white, lined paper. Yikes.

  10. I have the same sickness. Oh my, I love stationery and paperish paraphernalia! I have lots and lots of unused notebooks & stationery sets as well, and love my fountain pens. I’d like to see photos of beautiful combinations of notebooks and papergoods, plus an example of what to possibly put inside…perhaps some guest “top 10” lists of how people use their notebooks, or how to start using them!

  11. Before today I don’t think I had ever seen a giant chicken nugget on your blog.

  12. Jane Mackay

    If you want stationery heaven then Present and Correct is for you; online or somewhere near The Angel. I have absolutely no connection with them, by the way. Otherwise I adore Rhodia’s? (I’m uncertain of the spelling) squared-pages notebooks. Thank-you for a great blog.

  13. Annabel (gaskella)

    Stationary Stationery – the tendency is to buy notebooks etc which never get used – just celebrate the design – then be brave and inscribe in them! I’m more of a pen junkie than notebook fiend, apart from French stuff – with the thin lines that resemble musical staves almost – Je les adore!

  14. Kateg

    I LOVED stationery as a child as I was a prolific letter writer to my cousins and an uncle who did not live nearby. As an adult, I do love notebooks, but I have recently bought fancy file folders to store all the papers that go with being an adult. I like some of the previous ideas; I would love a Simon-inscribed notebook. The notebooks I do have I use to comment on the books I read; I started before Goodreads to keep track of my reading. Now I use the notebooks with shorter reviews than on Goodeads. For your blog, you could review the different brands/styles of notebooks as well as other types of stationery items ( pens, pencils and beautiful papers).

  15. AnnP

    A picture of one or two notebooks every so often and readers have to suggest what that notebook should be used for.

  16. Fenella

    You’re too limited in your use of the word ‘stationery’. I’ve controlled the habit of buying notebooks I never write in, but have allowed full rein on letter-writing stationery because I actually use it. This includes notecards and thank you cards to a lesser extent.
    I write old-fashioned snail-mail letters to a few friends. To one friend currently living in Niger, I write more than once a week. So the purchase of nice stationery, as well as interesting postage stamps, is all part of the fun. Return address labels – check! Sometimes I even make a wax seal – but they usually don’t survive in the post, so I only use them when it’s within a parcel.

    My pet peeve about a lot of stationery from a couple of the bigger chains – including the one you didn’t mention (ahem) – is that they have a big pattern on the back so you can’t write on both sides of the paper. They usually only give you one sheet per envelope. Who writes just one side of piece of paper when going to all that bother – unless it’s a thank you note???
    Have you heard that Royal Mail is upping their prices. While it’s only 2p and 3p domestically, to send a postcard to anywhere outside of Europe is £1.28! The dying practice of sending postcards will be further hit by this exortbitant price.

  17. tsowry

    Great post – I do exactly the same! It always feels like my thoughts aren’t good enough to write down in my lovely notebooks! Also, I spy the cat notepads from paperchase – I have the letter set of this – love the print!

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