The small pleasures of office supplies: pen edition


I think a big part of my conviction that “I am a writer” came early in my childhood from my love for office supplies. Aren’t all big decisions based on important feelings like that? I see it in my daughter too these days, when she cannot be convinced to leave Staples unless yelled at, even after spending there no less than one hour every single time we visit.

The laptop (why do they insist on calling them “notebooks” these days? Notebooks are the paper thingies, people!) is still my best friend, but a little paper and pen by its side seem to make even more sense. Just like the e-reader keeps good company to the traditionally printed books, right? Exactly.

I remember, as a very young child, before I knew how to write, filling notebook after notebook with squiggles that in my mind looked a lot like real writing. I followed the ink lines left behind by the tip of my pen and it felt like a thing a beauty. And it still does. That’s the weirdest thing. It doesn’t wear off, this childish wonder.

I have never been too fancy about my pens. Anything works. I buy them from the pharmacy, grocery store or Staples, on a whim, and I go for pens that look good and have black ink. I don’t care about the difference between liquid ink and gel, or ball-point and needle point. I am afraid that there are very few pens that I don’t like. But because I don’t like change much, I have settled for now on two favorites: the Pilot Precise V5 and the Uni-Ball Signo Gelstick 0.7. My pen love goes to these two. I’m sure you were dying to know.