Shopping doesn’t get much better than a visit to a stationery shop. Who can resist those shelves of sketchbooks, pots of gel pens, neon highlighters and banks of Post-it Notes? They all promise so much!
Those black Moleskine notebooks with their rounded corners and twangy elastic page holders are just waiting for Big Thoughts, novel outlines, haikus and sketches to be scribbled on their pages (preferably with a Kaweco foundation pen). And that set of highlighter pens and pad of Post-its have the potential to banish a world of chaos and discord, replacing it with calm orderliness.
This love of stationery is firmly rooted in childhood. The purchase of a new pencil case filled with coloured felt pens, a propelling pencil, Bic biro and animal-shaped rubbers was one of the few consolations of going back to school. Zipped up in their carefully chose case, the new stationery items whispered of a fresh start and the promise of triumphs ahead. (The same applies, of course, to the first day in a new job: a smart pen and notebook always cuts the mustard.)
It’s reassuring in a world of technological devices, that stationery has never been more popular: John Lewis reports an increase of 10% in sales of notebooks and journals, and a 12% increase in Filofax purchases, since last year. It seems that we can’t get enough of multi-coloured paper clips, ring binders and hole punches. Lucy Edmonds of cool online stationers Quill London puts this down to an increase in home working: “People are giving more thought to their home office spaces, which means they’re willing to spend a little bit more on stationery they’ll enjoy using and that won’t get pinched.” She also suggests it’s an opportunity to accessorise: “Stationery is a great little everyday vehicle for design, pattern and colour,” she says. “Whether it’s a patterned notebook in your handbag or a brass pencil-holder on your desk.”