Or is it just me?
Apologies for the opening crudity, but is there another word that describes so comprehensively the lascivious way writers behave in a stationery shop, let alone if there’s a sale on? Forget Christmas, we want the Back to School sales. Fondling journals, cooing over different coloured copying paper and insisting on trying out all the pens for the right feel. It would be downright obscene if it wasn’t such a guilty pleasure.
The level of excitement it generates is almost sexual, and in fact one writer admitted to me that she’s told her boyfriend a trip to Officeworks counts as foreplay. I kid you not.
These are the tools of our trade, sure, but is that any reason to get so excited you buy post it notes in bulk packs more suited to a corporate office? Notepads. Dear lord. When they have sales of Spirax I get dizzy. There are so many sizes, thicknesses, and some have pockets at the back. How can I possibly know which ones I’ll need for which project? There’s no option but to buy a couple of each type.
Envelopes. Ahhhhh. Is there anything more beautiful than those pearlised baby-pink envelopes with the matching A4 paper? Perfect for composing love letters on. Assuming you have a love. One day. And so here’s a thought, maybe it’s more about the anticipation of using this stationery that makes writers stock so much of it. Pens! Every time a new type hits the market I want to try it. The pens I already have are fine, and really, an ordinary Bic will do when you’ve got a brilliant idea and the need to scratch it down. But is there anything nicer than curling up in the corner of the airport bar with your Moleskin notepad and a sparkling Swarovski crystal pen to document your journey? I think not.
Then there are Padawans learners who come to us seeking the arcane knowledge of how to write a stationery list, a highly advanced discipline only used by those writers with the greatest self control. A dying art to be honest. A dead art in fact.
So is this is a girl thing, or are male writers equally afflicted? And do readers have stationery fetishes? Why do we do it? Is it all about the writing? Or is there some couch we should be lying on to talk about our troubled childhood…?
Feedback definitely required.