There are numerous articles on the internet written by fans of pen and paper (see below for some of my favourite blogs/sites) and almost all will at some point make a comparison between the analogue and digital platforms. This will inevitably include a trope which goes along the lines of “… Unlike your mobile device, pens and paper never run out of battery.” I am always a little annoyed by this – a device usually runs out of battery because the owner is either not recharging it regularly (perhaps they are stuck in the 1990s and think the battery has to be run down completely before recharging) or they are not in command of their usage (if they know they are a heavy user, they can carry a mobile battery charger, for example). It also ignores the fact that you can just as easily run out of ink, or come to the end of your notebook if you are the type of person who doesn’t plan ahead.
However, I have an observation of my own to make, and it goes like this:
I have never yet received a phone call from a scammer alleging that they are telephoning me from Parker Pens and they have “information” that my pen is not working properly and to avoid untold terrible things happening, I should hand over my pen to them immediately.
In this one way, the old pen and paper does indeed trump the new technology, to the extent that I think I will tell the next scammer who calls that previous phone conversations have convinced me that computers are deeply unsafe and I have therefore sold mine and replaced it with a typewriter. Actually, this is not as far-fetched as it sounds – our local charity shop has three typewriters currently for sale and I am having to sit on my hands to prevent me spending money I don’t have on one then trying to find space I don’t have to put it in!
Some of my favourite paper-centric sites are:-
Stationery Wednesday – the blog from Bureau Direct, online stationery shop based in the UK
Endpaper – the blog from Paperblanks, manufacturers of very decorative journals and diaries.
Filofax – blog from Filofax, almost everyone knows Filofax, right?
Goulet Pens – an American online fountain pen and paper retailer, Brian Goulet is a prolific producer of quality information about this niche arena.
Philofaxy – the daddy of all the paper planner blogs, chock-full of information going back to pre-history when planners were all-but dead and buried.
The Writing Desk – okay, they don’t have a blog, but they do have an online shop plus a bricks and mortar store in Bury St Edmunds, UK. Mainly, though, they are my ‘local’ fountain pen specialist and for that reason alone they get to be mentioned here.
William Hannah Daily – William Hannah is a small UK business manufacturing and selling very desirable leather disc-system notebooks and refills. David Round has been posting a daily photo on Instagram for many months, each featuring a brief hand-written entry and featuring a variety of the leather products of his company. Now these are also being featured in their own section on the company website, and you can even subscribe to receive them in your inbox if you choose. There is a blog on the same site, but it has been dormant for a little while.
Wonderpens – this blog, written by the lady who runs a couple of stationery shops in California, is just delightful.
Fountain Pen Follies – another great blog specifically about fountain pens. If you only read one thing, read her recent “Happy December” post because it is lovely and amusing.