Sunday, 14 March 2010

Retail therapy: Pens with personality

I have developed a penchant for 'nice' ball-point pens. I'm not sure where it came from, but it's got to the point where I cannot walk past Taft's without spending 5 minutes in front of the window display.

There are pens in Taft's for stupid amounts of money -- >$600 for example. I'm not that far gone yet; it would be hard for me to justify that amount of money on a pen. Besides, it's not the brand name, nor the materials, nor the craftmanship that call to me. Nor is it the writing nib, because most are simply Parker refills. Writing balance is part of it, but . . . well, it's not like we handwrite for extended periods anymore, so it's not such a big factor. (Moreover, a pen would almost have to write by itself for $600. Like Rita Skeeter's quill.)

What it comes down to is 'fun' and a way of expressing personality. I want to get my pen out and smile.

Maybe it's because I'm a writer, and, although not the central figure it once played in the creation of great works, the pen is still the symbol of our calling. And I do still need a pen to help me think -- both at home and at work. I write a lot of lists, and like to plan longhand. I relish the connection between pen and brain. (And there IS one!) No-one can argue with the fact that one always needs a pen on hand for something.

So today, feeling in need of a bit of a pick-me-up, and finding myself in the vicinity of Taft's, I decided to buy a new pen. Not a $600 pen, of course. Something under $60 would do just fine. So long as it has personality. And makes me smile.

The problem was I couldn't decide which out of two relatively cheap (and on sale) Perraz Gypsy pens (pictured) I wanted. In all things other than colour & design they were/are identical. The answer was simple course -- because one is always in need of multiple pens.

The next decision is which one to take into work to join my other pen with purple personality, and which will live in my handbag . . .


  1. love those pens, both of them, can see why you couldn't decide between them ... I secretly share a love of a good pen too, although I tend to gravitate towards the fountain pens, even though I rarely use them because carrying them in my handbag takes with it the risk of it leaking :-(

  2. Oooh yes, I checked out the fountain pens as well. And I do have a few, but I never use them anymore. Sad really.