It’s all about the little things


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Here’s the display box that I bought from a Japanese surplus shop. Looks like I’m going to run out of space soon. I mentioned before that I never collected anything prior to this. I love writing and I’ve been writing journals, short stories, poems and essays since I was a kid, but it never occurred to me to collect pens. I mainly thought of pens from a utilitarian perspective; something to be used, chewed on while thinking, and then discarded when the ink ran out.

My first fountain pen was a Parker Jotter which my husband (then my boyfriend) gave as a gift. I liked the way that it wrote but when the ink ran out, I had no idea how to clean it properly. Of course it got clogged up and I put it away. I have since found it again and this time I cleaned it out properly; gave it a good soak, put it in an ultrasonic cleaner, flushed it…the works. I lovingly polished the cap which still had “I love you” clearly engraved on it. ❤

Now I’m building a modest pen collection. A lot of these were given by family members and friends, and some were purchased at really good prices from collectors like myself.

Being new to collecting, I find it fascinating that collecting something actually gives me some kind of pleasure. I like reading up about the pens that I acquire and lovingly taking care of them as I use them in rotation. I like cleaning them up periodically. I especially like that there are sooooo many colors of inks to choose from.

Before I joined the Fountain Pen Network Philippines’ FB group, I honestly thought that inks only came in black, blue, red, and the occasional turquoise. I never imagined the spectrum of colors that are available to use! On paper! Wow. You can imagine how dumbfounded I was when I looked at ink swabs at Scribe for the first time.

I don’t really care for how expensive or cheap a pen is. I think it’s important to buy pens that are within your budget range, or to look for good pens that are dirt cheap, which you can easily fix up and polish to look presentable. I especially like vintage pens; the look, the feel, the way they write, their history…everything about them. I find it fascinating to be using a pen which is twenty or thirty years older than me.

Of course, it’s even more important to buy pens that you like to use. For me, I never know for sure if I will love a pen until I hold it in my hand and write with it.

I am quite easy to please when it comes to pens, though. I just want pens that are pleasant to hold, with a little bit of heft to them, and has a stiff medium or broad nib that writes really wet. I like them ink-guzzling pens a lot.

For new collectors like me, don’t get pressured into buying expensive pens at an early stage. I think it’s important to learn what you like first, and meet up with fellow pen enthusiasts who will be happy to let you hold some of the pens in their collection so that you can learn what agrees with you and what doesn’t. Enjoy slowly building up your collection and learn as much about it as you can along the way. 🙂

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