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A Paradox On Pen Addiction


Quintane
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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?

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Hi, I think it works this way, you subconsciously begin to feel the need for this or that fountain pen and so you prepare and do in consonance with this desires.

Btw, I have maybe 90 pens more or less and some 10 varsitys, now I decanted my taste for two : a Waterman Phileas nib meistered by Mr. Pendleton Brown,

and a Franklyn Covey from a stationary both good and satisfactory, maybe in 4 months I rotate but who knows, I am happy with this.

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Since I prefer owning fewer pens that I write with more frequently, the solution was obvious: reduce the number of pens I own. It's an ongoing process, but I feel I'm close to my "magical" number.

_________________

etherX in To Miasto

Fleekair <--French accent.

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Keep fewer inked.

Fugure out a rotation that works best for you. Currently I have 10-13 inked. Been thinking about changing it to about 6-8 so each pen in current rotation gets a chance to play more.

Brad

"Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind" - Rudyard Kipling
"None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain-pen, or half its cussedness; but we can try." - Mark Twain

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Even though the number of pens I own keeps growing, the number I use on a regular basis stays about the same. If one new one becomes a favorite, an older one gets put out of everyday use.

And the end of all our exploring

Will be to arrive where we started

And know the place for the first time. TS Eliot

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I think this doesn't hold true, because, as I see it, your main premise (that writing time is equally divided between pens) isn't true. Some people may spend a day, or a week with a given pen. Importantly, no pen is allocated a specific amount of time with which it will be written upon purchase (e.g P51 gets 15 mins per day- although who knows, someone may).

 

Therefore, it cannot be said that you have less time with pen X, because the amount of time spent is not set in stone to begin with. Moreover, I'd say the most crucial aspect is the quality, not the quantity, of time spent with you chosen pen, so that a short, satisfying experience is preferable over a long, dull experience ( no innuendos please! :D).

 

Just my take on OPs thoughts :)

<img src='http://img525.imageshack.us/img525/606/letterji9.png' alt='Posted Image' class='bbc_img' /><span style='font-family: Arial Blue'></span>Colourless green ideas sleep furiously- Noam Chomsky

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I have found that the best way to ensure that I actually get to enjoy all my pens is to keep my collection small. As much as I sometimes think I just need "one more," I know that if I have more than 3 or 4 inked at a time the extras won't get as much use as they should, so I tend to pass along pens that aren't getting much love to family members or friends, because I would hate to see a pen sit in a drawer and not get used. Besides, for me a lot of the fun is looking for the next new pen, or playing with something new, not growing a huge collection. :-)

Fountain pen blog | Personal blog

 

Current collection: Pilot Vanishing Point, TWSBI Vac 700, Kaweco Al Sport, Lamy Safari, Nemosine Singularity

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For me, my "collection" is still pretty small, so I get to use most of them on a regular basis. And I make it a point to clear off those that haven't seen much use, and don't appeal to me, to free up space in the drawer and money in the wallet.

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I started the year with about 4 pens. Now I have about 18 - 15 of which I keep inked. Sometimes it causes me stress because I want to use all of the pens and I don't have time to. I thought about reducing my small collection, but each pen has attributes that I like, so I don't really want to part with any (said the hoarder).

 

The "good" news is that there are no pens I want - at the moment - so I am in equilibrium.

 

EDIT: I take that back. I would like the Cross Year of The Snake pen in Blue, but not for the price it is selling for.

Edited by blINK

Chris

 

Carpe Stylum!

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I have correspondence pens (1 business and 1 personal), a poetry pen, a long long handed writing session pens and a write on poor paper pen if nothing else will do pen and the carry pens.

 

The pens are assigned according to how comfortably I can write with them, the nib size and ink colour and impression.

 

It happened more by accident than design - the collection grew and certain pens did a better job than others, or in the case of the carry about pens - they are cheap or robust enough to carry around without breaking.

 

I think I've got enough pens and inks for now - now I'm looking for some fantastic stationery to match. What paper makes South Seas Blue really stand out - a crisp white, a light cream or a sandy yellow (of that exists) or maybe a coral pink. Any suggestions?

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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?

 

For this very reason, I do not intend to collect more than a handful of pens. I have no interest in hoarding pens that never get used. I simply can't grasp the mentality behind owning 50+ pens, unless you are a curator or otherwise interested in preserving history.

 

If you have 30 children, there is simply no way you are going to know them as well as if you had 3 children. In my ideal world, I would have around 3 pens, one everyday writer, one italic or broad for fancy writing, and one F nib or perhaps a luxury pen. More than this dilutes the experience for me. I prefer to find one pen that suits me rather than own every pen ever made.

 

EDIT - Doesn't stop me from questing for the perfect pen though!

Edited by Inflection
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I struggle with this. I learn more and more what I like and what I don't but I admit that there are a good number of pens in my collection that I received as gifts that I don't wish to own and yet it feels wrong to sell them.

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While the argument holds for a large number of pens, there are also other things to consider: more pens mean more colours, line widths and other characteristics that add to the possibilities of the pen collection, hence also the use. So there might be a clever graph with an interesting curve in it here.

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My collection is small enough (under 10 pens at present) that it really isn't an issue for me yet. However, I'm already running into the issue of wanting to use more inks than I have pens. Really, I want to use more inks that I can reasonably expect to use. So there really is another factor here. I imagine as my collection grows I'll settle on some sort of rotation in terms of pens, or possibly decide to retire some of my earlier, cheaper purchases. For inks though...maybe start emptying the pen before I've used all the ink from a fill? Who knows.

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As my collection of writing tools has grown, my preferences for fountain pens have developed and matured. My Parker 51s have become my EDCs and my workhorses for most of my day to day tasks. But I also have a selection of amazing pens that wait at home for thinking, journaling, reflecting, and recording. So the key for me is now developing a rotation plan to keep of these incredible tools in use.

 

Buzz

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Has anyone read a book called the Volcano Lover by Susan Sontag? It is about a voracious English collector of beautiful objects in Italy at the end of the 18th century. His desire for beautiful objects is insatiable. The book is a wonderful exploration of the obsession to own things vs. love (spoiler alert: It does not end well for the Englishman.)

 

Personally, I form a deep bond with my pens, so I can't have too many. It overwhelms me! But not everyone is the same and the passion for objects is an enduring human emotion.

 

Katherine

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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?

 

I've come to a similar realization. The more pens I have, the less time I'm spending with the pens I absolutely love the most. My solution was to sell or give away pens until only the pens I absolutely loved remain. This way I'm never spending time with a pen I just "like" because it's in the rotation, while neglecting my favorites. It's a process. I didn't think I'd get below 10, but I'm at 9 now. I can't see myself getting any lower, but then I couldn't see myself getting to 9 before either.

 

My ideal would be 2 or 3 pens I think. Impossible at this point.

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I won't stop buying pens until they tower over me. Then, some day I'll sneeze in my sleep, and down they'll come...

@arts_nibs

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I often consider this paradox - what I decided to do is find more opportunities to use the pen - thereby increasing my usage time. As funny as this sounds I gave up on the electronic tracking / estimate writing at work in favour of using pens - many pens with different colour ink and all of a sudden that adds a whole new justificaiton to owning the couple dozen pens that I do. Invoices too come out hand written and where I would have less than 1 hour of scribbling time in a 10 hour work day I am now up to 6+ hours of neatly written notes - all I have lost is the ability to hit the search button but productivity has not suffered.

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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?

I used to rotate my pens monthly. Then when I got to a certain number I as you have pointed out realised that I use each pen less. I therefore decided to stop rotating and merely collect to own.

My Collection: Montblanc Writers Edition: Hemingway, Christie, Wilde, Voltaire, Dumas, Dostoevsky, Poe, Proust, Schiller, Dickens, Fitzgerald (set), Verne, Kafka, Cervantes, Woolf, Faulkner, Shaw, Mann, Twain, Collodi, Swift, Balzac, Defoe, Tolstoy, Shakespeare, Saint-Exupery, Homer & Kipling. Montblanc Einstein (3,000) FP. Montblanc Heritage 1912 Resin FP. Montblanc Starwalker Resin: FP/BP/MP. Montblanc Traveller FP.

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