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A Paradox On Pen Addiction

collecting addiction writing time to write

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49 replies to this topic

#21 Eugen-of-Savoy

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 10:00

Well, there is collecting and there is writing. I have my daily workhorses , but to say the vintage and LE pens are disliked, no way. I am quite happy if they are inked once a year.

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#22 Blue_Moon

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 11:37

I've thought about this recently, and was even contemplating selling all my pens except for my three favorite brands.  However, I've decided (at least for now) just to scale back.  I'm in the process of selling several pens, and focusing on using only those that I really like.  I'm also going to experiment with new nibs on pens that I like, but are dry writers.  I like wet writers.  I imagine everyone, in the FP world, has at least considered downsizing.


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Iroshizuku, Diamine, and Waterman inks are my favorites!

Apica, Rhodia, and Clairefontaine make great paper!


#23 _Stormin_

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 18:24

I'm happy with my current collection, and I think that I wouldn't think to much about buying something unless I knew that there was a pen that I wanted to divest...

 

That said, all of my next purchases are planned to be a bit more pricey than the ones before, and therefore less frequent...



#24 rollerboy

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 18:48

There is no solution.  Collecting, pretty much by definition, means owning more of the items than can be justified on the basis of their utility.



#25 Quintane

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 18:53

I am really amazed about the number and the quality of the answers. The situation I described is in a sense an extreme abstraction, but it is useful as a thought provoking frame, and I would say it worked just well in that respect. Anyway, there is a very real and very personal aspect pending on that artificial scenario, and it is quite interesting to see the variety of attitudes and "solutions" to it. Thanks to all! Keep collecting thoughts!

#26 FloatingFountain

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 19:22

Because of this, and because of my aversion against frills and 'unused things', I've downsized both my pen and ink collections. I'm now down to three pens (Duofold, ProGear, Sapporo), and one ink (ESSRI). I switch my pen every Sunday evening. After the ESSRI is used up, I might switch to Diamine RI, R&K Salix or Scabiosa, or Akkerman IG, and that will then be my only ink.

 

Nowadays I only have one fountain pen inked at any given time. I carry it in a one-pen pouch.

 

The other two are in a three-pen pouch, so I have one spot left. If I can find another suitable fountain pen, I might add one more.

 

Suitable is:

 

Black/Gold trim

Asian Medium or Western Fine

Screw cap

Cartridge convertor

Must be able to disassemble


Edited by FloatingFountain, 15 June 2014 - 19:27.


#27 The Journeyman

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 03:35

A thought provoking thread, with an undertone of humour and self-recognition! Thank you.

Like everyone else I enjoy 'the writing experience' of using my pens and so in one sense admit the dilemma! The one thing that your scenario doesn't allow for is the pleasure that the beauty of Fountain pens bring. Yes, they are made to be used, but IMO they are also works of art and so, even if not using some of them for a while, I still derive much pleasure from them on that level. My everyday carry pens? Well they are like the portable part of my collection, but the whole collection makes me smile to myself through the day whether in current use or not.

#28 proton007

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 04:04

Supposing you collect pens for writing, and that you really like to write with each of your pens (more or less). Then, each new pen means you have proportionally less time to write with each one of your pens, since you must divide the total writing time you have by the number of pens you have. The more pens you have, the less time you have to write with each pen. Time might come when you have only a couple of seconds to write with each of your lovely pens in a week or in a month... Does this sound like an ideal for a pen lover? Has anyone come yet with a solution to this sort of riddle for pen lovers?

 

Owning for writing need not be a precondition. Further, we can have a few pens inked at a time.

Collecting is like any other hobby, like 'mint' action figures that people don't play with, there'll always be a few items you don't use.


Edited by proton007, 17 June 2014 - 05:22.

In a world where there are no eyes the sun would not be light, and in a world where there were no soft skins rocks would not be hard, nor in a world where there were no muscles would they be heavy. Existence is relationship and you're smack in the middle of it.

- Alan Watts


#29 pajaro

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 04:17

Recently a post said that when you think you have too many pens, someone here will display a collection larger by an order of magnitude.  I tend to have small groups of my hundred or so pens that I favor at any time, and the group changes from time to time.  They all get sort of used, depending on their merits.  I have some pens I really like, some pens I sort of like and some that other people like.  My mood and liking for a pen change over time. 


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#30 WilsonCQB1911

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 05:02

Because of this, and because of my aversion against frills and 'unused things', I've downsized both my pen and ink collections. I'm now down to three pens (Duofold, ProGear, Sapporo), and one ink (ESSRI). I switch my pen every Sunday evening. After the ESSRI is used up, I might switch to Diamine RI, R&K Salix or Scabiosa, or Akkerman IG, and that will then be my only ink.
 
Nowadays I only have one fountain pen inked at any given time. I carry it in a one-pen pouch.
 
The other two are in a three-pen pouch, so I have one spot left. If I can find another suitable fountain pen, I might add one more.
 
Suitable is:
 
Black/Gold trim
Asian Medium or Western Fine
Screw cap
Cartridge convertor
Must be able to disassemble


I'm jealous. I wish I could get there. I'm down to 9 pens, and 8 inks. It's hard to go further than that for me.

#31 canibanoglu

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 05:45

That is one of my problems as well. I don't have a lot of pens but there are two that I always use, both with sentimental values. Another one is on the way. I just have to have those pens inked up and use them for most of my writing.

 

So far, I've come up with a system of inking up my two main writers with colors that I can use for extended writing and ink two more pens with finer nibs in complementary colors to the colors in the main writers. The finer pens are used for annotating what I have already written. When the third pen arrives, I will buy another pen just for this purpose (you gotta accept, that is one cool justification for buying yet another pen).

 

Even with 4-6 pens, I find that I feel guilt when I don't use all of them equally. To even this out I usually write one page with one main/complementary set and the other with another one. That way I use them more evenly and my notes looks like rainbows.



#32 Blue_Moon

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 11:47

A thought provoking thread, with an undertone of humour and self-recognition! Thank you.

Like everyone else I enjoy 'the writing experience' of using my pens and so in one sense admit the dilemma! The one thing that your scenario doesn't allow for is the pleasure that the beauty of Fountain pens bring. Yes, they are made to be used, but IMO they are also works of art and so, even if not using some of them for a while, I still derive much pleasure from them on that level. My everyday carry pens? Well they are like the portable part of my collection, but the whole collection makes me smile to myself through the day whether in current use or not.

 

That's what makes FPN enjoyable - the different perspectives.  Some see FPs as preferable tools.  Others see them as works of art.  Some, such as yourself, seem to see them as both.  I read a post the other day (don't remember if it was in this thread or not) that said he/she has pens that are not used.  They are just part of his/her collection.  I would not do that, unless I had some high dollar pen - $5000.00, $10,000.00, etc.  Since that will not happen in my lifetime (as far as I can ascertain), I use them as tools.  What's the purpose of having a tool that you never use?  I don't like having pens that I simply don't use, thus I'm currently downsizing my collection to a manageable number.  For I time, I considered going with my top three brands, and divesting myself of all other pens.  However, due to there being a (very) few pens from other manufacturers that I like, I decided not to do that.  However, my quest to downsize continues.


Franklin-Christoph, Italix, and Pilot pens are the best!
Iroshizuku, Diamine, and Waterman inks are my favorites!

Apica, Rhodia, and Clairefontaine make great paper!


#33 amk

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 18:27

I feel no guilt at all for not using a particular pen. It's not alive, it doesn't care. And I derive such great joy from crooning over the pretty colours of my early celluloids...

 

No, what I do feel guilty about is that I have so many pens I really need to re-sac. And I haven't managed to do anything about it. That's bad. That's really, really bad. :-)


Too many pens, too little time!

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#34 Quintane

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 04:51

Thanks for all the replies. In fact the initial abstract scenario made a lot of assumptions: that a collector has or get pens for writing (as tools); that each of their pens are equally loved…, and so on. Now, some replies forced things to the opposite side, which is also an interesting consideration: to look at all possible concrete variations that determine choices and ways to deal with pens: pens themselves (size, thickness, material, brand, price, nib, color, beauty, etc.), then their relationship with inks (and their own variations of color, shading, etc.), papers, and then subjective factors accorded to each of those objective variations: sentimental value, personal story of the pen, time of possession (or of not possession), the peculiar feeling when writing with it, etc. So, each pen, and each moment with a pen has its own singular significance... Personally, pens are tools for me, not jewels; but they are tools like a violin is a tool: because of the unique music it creates, you appreciate also its shape, its varnish, its history… And I can feel very sorry to have an unused pen for weeks, not because the feelings of the pen (she is not alive, etc.), but because of the temporal lack of its beauty in my hands and in my eyes. I might understand a collector feeling, but a pen meant to write which is only used to be seen and admired in a case or in a shelve is very pitiful for me. 



#35 Venemo

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 15:45

Quintane, you said you work in academia. I think that is a great excuse for using multiple pens with multiple inks. For instance, you could keep one for grading, one for signatures, one for your office, one for home, etc. Even better, when you are grading, you can have a pen loaded with green ink for writing good scores and another with red ink for negative scores. :) The possibilities are endless!


Edited by Venemo, 17 August 2014 - 15:45.


#36 Jackson

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 16:33

My defense of my burgeoning collection is that each pen I procure deepens my knowledge and understanding of penology and of my own preferences in design, performance and artistry. And I plan to stick to that story.

#37 Waski_the_Squirrel

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 19:50

Lately I've been downsizing a lot of things, including the pen and ink collection. Among my pens, I want my favorites, and I want variety in nib style, filling mechanism, and appearance. But, I decided on the number 20. That limits me, but leaves enough quantity for a few special purpose pens.


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#38 Joe in Seattle

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 20:15

I have about three dozen pens and always have six Inked. A few of the pens I bought for sentimental reasons, or curiosity, or to have an example of that sort of Pen(I,e. Waterman 52 red Ripple, fine nib, in Museum condition).

Truly, only about half of my pens see use on a regular basis. Once inked, a pen will be in use for about two weeks. Very rarely do I refill a pen once it has run out. I turn to another favorite for the next rotation.

Occasionally, I think of deacquisitioning the lesser used pens, but most of them have a place in my heart too – and they may see use once every year or two.

I write a lot and it is a pleasure and life is too short to write with pens or inks or paper you don't really like.
"how do I know what I think until I write it down?"

#39 Icywolfe

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 20:45

I gave certain pens jobs to do. As in:

 

Platinum Carbon Desk Pen: Is to sketch and draw

Pilot VP: (Jobless currently) is to write quick notes when in school

Pilot Justus 95: Is to draw with flex and to write Kanji

Noodler's Ahab: Write Kanji

Jinhao x750 with Jowo B and 1.1 stub nib: Write Kanji on cheap toilet paper like paper for practice. (The paper is really rough so my finer nibs get stuck)

Jinhao X450 with Jowo M nib (Carbon Black ink): is to write about stuff in my notebook when I'm away from home.

My Preppys: To store ink for long periods to test how they write later on.

Pilot 6mm Parallel: To write in gothic style font.

 

For me more pens I will get more jobs I'll give it. If I have no jobs for that pen I'll give it one. Like how I recently bought the Justus95 I really didn't have a job for flexy pen because I have an Ahab. So now I'm learning Kanji. So I can use that pen like boss one day.


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#40 Quintane

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 02:34

Quintane, you said you work in academia. I think that is a great excuse for using multiple pens with multiple inks. For instance, you could keep one for grading, one for signatures, one for your office, one for home, etc. Even better, when you are grading, you can have a pen loaded with green ink for writing good scores and another with red ink for negative scores. :) The possibilities are endless!

Oh, yes, I am more or less into that: a tandem pen-ink for each particular writing task. Yes of course, it helps. Now, it helps, but it also increases the vertiginous scenario of having just a couple of seconds to write with each pen... In the limit (you mention endlessness first) you would have a pen for each letter of the alphabet. That's not very practical or attractive!

My defense of my burgeoning collection is that each pen I procure deepens my knowledge and understanding of penology and of my own preferences in design, performance and artistry. And I plan to stick to that story.

That's a good point indeed! But it is really the motivation behind your fervent wish for a new pen? I think it is a result, it is an outcome, and certainly one of the most beneficial and positive outcomes, but it cannot be the purpose of collecting unless you are already a penologist, are you?

Occasionally, I think of deacquisitioning the lesser used pens, but most of them have a place in my heart too – and they may see use once every year or two.
I write a lot and it is a pleasure and life is too short to write with pens or inks or paper you don't really like.

That's the way I see pens also, or almost. If a pen does not have a place in your heart, you must be prepared to say goodbye to it. But: how come that each and every one of a bunch of pens reach a place in one's heart? The attachment to a pen, that's somewhat misterious, but nevertheless it is real.ñ

I gave certain pens jobs to do. As in (...)
For me more pens I will get more jobs I'll give it. If I have no jobs for that pen I'll give it one. Like how I recently bought the Justus95 I really didn't have a job for flexy pen because I have an Ahab. So now I'm learning Kanji. So I can use that pen like boss one day.

This is a fine and ingenuos way to realize the idea of Venemo... But, let's see: how many writing jobs can one have? In fact, the problem is the love for fountain pens in the electronic age. When you discover yourself taking notes with your pen from an email you just wrote, you can see how near we are of a sort of sociopathy.

Thanks to all, really. It is encouraging to have so many responses, and so varied and so interesting!





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: collecting, addiction, writing, time to write



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