Pleasures of Reading a Pen Catalogue
I am a big fan of all the digital options available, and that is in part why some often ask me why I use a fountain pen, don't I find it old technology? I won't go over my response in this column, it is well documented in my Pen Views Column. But it is safe to say, I like the old and the new.
This week, the 2013 Annual Showcase of Fine Writing Instruments arrived from the New York, NY pen store, Fountain Pen Hospital (www.fountainpenhospital.com).
I have made some on-line purchases from the Fountain Pen Hospital, good service, and I have been receiving the Annual for a number of years. I save them all as they are a great resource in terms of checking on availability of the various pen lines and prices.
But what struck me this time was how enjoyable it was to sit down and flip through the catalogue. At the end of a hectic day, I took the 2013 Annual up with me to relax in bed.
I know some of the same information is available via various retail pen web sites, but turning each page, and looking at an assortment of pens availalbe was different.
Web site viewing is okay, and depending on the web site, there is either very little information, or a reasonable amount of information about the pen and/or the manufacture provided. Some have good quality pictures, others no so much.
But as I was reading the 2013 Annual I found it a better experience.
The pens were grouped by manufacturer. They were not listed alphabetically, so I was never sure just who would on the next page.
There was high quality photos of the pens, in some cases showing the nib or clip etc. I found I was really able to get a feel for what the pen was like. Much more so than the size-limited on-line images on most pen store web-sites.
I stayed up much later than I planned. It was just such a good experience to read about and look at the selection of pens.
I was pleased to see some of the better-designed lines of pens remaining in production. And not so pleased to see some classics no longer listed.
I have no idea how long Fountain Pen Hospital will continue to produce the catalogue, but my advice is to get one, and let them know how much you enjoyed it. With one of my last purchases came a great gift card. So I have it on my desk ready for my next purchase.
Well done Fountain Pen Network!
Your pen, an expression of you.