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How do you limit your collecting (if you do)

How do you limit your fountain pen buying (if you do)  

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  1. 1. How do you limit your fountain pen buying, if you do?

    • Budget per year (etc.)
    • Limit to specific category/ies of pen
    • Limit to specific model of pen
    • Limit to specific maker of pens
    • Limit total number of pens
    • Limit number of pens per year (etc.)
    • One (or multiple?) pens per publication/promotion/birthday/other achievement or milestone (give us details, please)
    • Other (please let us know bellow)

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1 hour ago, Sailor Kenshin said:


Step 1: Grit teeth, swear NO MORE PENS.


Step 2. Blatantly ignore Step 1.



Works for me... :)

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On 5/1/2021 at 11:06 AM, ENewton said:
  • It fills a perceived gap in my writing experience or improves upon a pen I already own.  
  • I am quite sure that if I bought it, it would be one of my five favorite pens.

wait for the pen to satisfy additional preferences.  For example, after deciding I wanted a Platinum 3776, I waited for several years until Platinum produced one with a purple body; I eventually bought the Platinum 3776 Nice Lavande.  Similarly, having decided I wanted a Sailor pen with a medium nib, I waited for one to be available in a purple finish not yet represented in my collection; I eventually bought a 1911S Wicked Witch of the West. 


Now that I've filled in my "gaps" and have "one of each" in categories like nib-grind, pen-size, etc, I find it easier to be picky about what I want: a nib with line variation, ink window, large ink capacity, clip, etc.


I've got a set of pens I love using, and when I've added to that beyond about 30 pens, they start getting dried-out and fussy by the time I reach for them again.

So, like ENewton, the pen I'm considering has to displace something in my favorites.


My most effective strategies to avoid buying is when I see a pen on ebay/pen_swap/etc: check against my "picky about features" list to see if I can disqualify it, then just "think it over" for a few hours -- often someone else buys the pen while I'm mulling 😄

It also helps me to have a folder of beautiful pen photos -- I can collect pen art without collecting the pens. 



PS: ENewton -- I'm also a lover of purple pens! Do you have a favorite?

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6 hours ago, ASCIIaardvark said:


PS: ENewton -- I'm also a lover of purple pens! Do you have a favorite?


My favorite all around is a Parker 51 plum Demi.  What is your favorite?

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8 hours ago, Sailor Kenshin said:


Step 1: Grit teeth, swear NO MORE PENS.


Step 2. Blatantly ignore Step 1.




Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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On 5/1/2021 at 9:19 PM, ENewton said:


I, too, am the person in the pen group who seldom has anything new to show, but instead of feeling pulled into show and tell, I focus on being an appreciative audience.


How lovely to be a successful cultivator of bonsai.  Indoor, outdoor, or both? 

@ENewton, being an "appreciative audience" is a good way to look at it. I like that.

I primarily grow outdoor bonsai. I have been growing bonsai for about 14yrs and I have somewhere around 50+ trees. I enjoy it immensely.

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I started using fountain pens exclusively in college so my initial pens were simple workhorse pens like the Lamy Safari and Studio. I soon became more interested in vintage pens and collected a handful of Esterbrook pens and Renew Points. Having a limited budget for the first few years of fountain pen use allowed me to really cut through the hype of many pens, and to spend time with the pens I have. This allowed me to find that I really was quite satisfied with the pens I had as far as writing and enjoying their different qualities. My process for choosing another fountain pen formed into:


1. Avoid buying modern pens unless they can provide something not found in vintage pens. Vintage pens were often easier and cheaper to find and repair, modern pens were often underwhelming in quality, and consistency of nib work. Never had a vintage nib that couldn't handle any ink thrown at it, often do with modern nibs. 


2. How would another pen add to my writing experience and productivity. I am finding less need to write at work with more things becoming digital, especially during the pandemic. And my 3 year old keeps me busy at home to find huge amount of time to write, so my current collection is satisfactory for my needs.


3. My last pen was bought in 2019, it was custom made to celebrate paying off my student loans, and the birth of my son. Being the most I ever spent on a pen, and a pen possessing all the features I have come to enjoy in a fountain pen, I don't have much to seek out in another pen. 


If I were to get another pen, it might be a Sheaffer Crest Triumph, as I am pretty smitten with the Triumph conical nibs....but have been pretty satisfied with the conical nibs on my Imperial II Deluxes that I don't have any pressing desire to purchase one in the near or distant future....

FP Ink Orphanage-Is an ink not working with your pens, not the color you're looking for, is never to see the light of day again?!! If this is you, and the ink is in fine condition otherwise, don't dump it down the sink, or throw it into the trash, send it to me (payment can be negotiated), and I will provide it a nice safe home with love, and a decent meal of paper! Please PM me!<span style='color: #000080'>For Sale:</span> TBA

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My system is fairly simple.  I look at all the pens I have that I don't write with, or even just all those I have never opened, and say, "This is ridiculous.  There are already too many things in my life for which I don't have room.  I'm telling my wife to stop buying pens for me."  She's very generous, but the pens are often those I won't buy because I know from experience that they have characteristics that make them less enjoyable to write with.  As a result, I now find myself on the hunt for people to whom I can give an unwanted pen and an unwanted bottle of ink.  They are more rare than I'd have thought.  But I have been successful in giving away a few pens.


It also helps to realize that I often get more enjoyment from anticipating a new pen than owning it.  This allows me to milk a potential pen purchase for years.


And finally, I am desperately poor and a notorious skinflint.  I was advised early on in life to find and use the most inexpensive option that would meet my needs.  Like Loganrah, I have this idea that any new pen ought to improve upon the ones I am already using in some way.


That said, I did break down and buy a three-pack of Jinhao 51A when my last remaining Hero 616 started to fail.  These pens serve a specific use-case, and I intend to have one available to me at all times.


I don't have much FOMO.  The last time a sale led me to "impulse buy" pens was when FPR had Jaipur piston fillers on clearance for 5USD, and even then it took me a few days to talk myself into it.  I've already concluded that, no matter how nice any given LE ink might be, they aren't going to be included in the Seven Essential Inks.  I likewise have an aversion to LE pens -- they automatically have a higher hurdle to clear,  in that their greater expense requires a greater improvement in the writing experience.


I live in an area with gobs of antique malls, markets, and other vendors.  I can imagine myself browsing and picking up bargains as Ruth does, but I don't spend any time in those places.

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I enjoy writing instruments. I always have. I was also influenced from a young age by parents who also liked to write/draw. The basic message I was taught was that pens/pencils are like any other tool. Buy good ones, and then take care of them.  Quality goods, well cared for, will perform and last, and you will enjoy owning them. Oh, and if you want something other that what is lying around the house for general use (which did NOT generally include mom and dad's better pens), then you needed to use your own money (i.e., earn it yourself and pay yourself).


As a result of this sort of influence, I developed the habit of learning as much as I can about a product before I buy it, especially in cases of discretionary purchases. I may choose to buy a pen because it is good value, because I like the way it writes, or maybe just because of the way it looks, or because of some other combination of features. But I always try to learn as best I can what defines the pen.


As a result of this approach, I try to appreciate why various pens are built the way there are. That is, I try to understand what the designer was trying to say, accomplish, display, etc. with various features. Celluloids often have pretty colors, fascinating patterns, and a unique "feel," metal pens tend to be durable and in some ways have a beauty of their own. Acrylics, ebonites, urushi, piston fillers, C/C, vacuum fillers, gold nibs, steel nibs, titanium nibs... on and on, they are all incorporated in various pens depending on the various choices made by the designer/manufacturer.


Thus I also spend a lot of time examining, playing with, writing with, maintaining, arranging, and generally trying to appreciate as many aspects of my pens as I can.


So what does all this have to do with limiting my collecting? I find that after reaching a certain number of pens in my collection (that number for me seems to be about 50 - 60), I have seen most of what I am interested in seeing in fountain pens in terms of design, colors, nibs, body material, ink-filling system, cheap, expensive, etc., so it has become very unusual for me to find something that really "speaks" to me. So my collecting has really leveled off.


In short, I am not so easily impressed anymore.


There are maybe 10 or 12 pens on my list of pens to buy, and all but maybe 2 or 3 are very low priority (i.e., I will buy them when and if the price is really good, I have huge amounts of money burning holes in my pockets, or something like that, which is not all that likely). So I am acquiring a couple of pens per year right now for my personal collection and disposing of a similar number. I find I buy more pens now as gifts, either for people who I know like fountain pens, or after a conversation about my pens to try to hook a new user.

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Like many others on FPN, I am less a collector than an unintentional amasser.


Around ten years ago, I realized that if I bought a Nakaya (ordered through nibs.com which wouldn't charge my credit card until the pen was ready to ship), I wouldn't buy any other pens at least until the Nakaya was shipped (but usually not the same day or same week).


I've forgotten what I called it. The Nakaya Moratorium? No. The Nakaya... I'm only remembering what Altec Green called it: the Nakaya Speedbump. Hahaha.


And it was effective -- both in limiting my purchases and helping to focus on what I actually used and enjoyed.


Also like many here, I've given away/sold/traded many pens in an effort to reach a comfortable number of pens (I'm in the "too-many" phase still; plans to sell at pen shows last year obviously pre-empted by pandemic restrictions).


Recognizing that a pen might appeal to me but that it probably won't unseat my top favorite favorites is why I've stopped amassing pens. I already have a few "the one" pens. I know, right? And that's it. For the time being...I'm all set.


The only thing that's wrecking my clever strategy is Pilot nibs - the PO and F (and possibly EF). If I ever get the PO nib in a Nakaya Piccolo, I'll be able to put all the other pens in the Pen Valise -- see if The One suffices. 

Side note: The kuro Piccolo's EF nib writes a similar line quality to the Pilot PO, and they're both enjoyable writing (tactile) experiences, but they're different. If only I didn't have this attention to such minutiae I could probably crown the Piccolo the ONLY The-One pen.


But two's good, too. I mean, I'm not really complaining.


etherX in To Miasto

Fleekair <--French accent.

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On 5/11/2021 at 12:41 AM, Arkanabar said:

As a result, I now find myself on the hunt for people to whom I can give an unwanted pen and an unwanted bottle of ink.  They are more rare than I'd have thought.


Indeed, I can relate; and the current level of postal charges don't help, either.


On 5/11/2021 at 12:41 AM, Arkanabar said:

But I have been successful in giving away a few pens.


I'm just glad I finally gave away the never-inked Pilot Capless 50th anniversary commemorative (2013 Limited Edition) Maple pen, that I've been too ‘scared’ to put to use since buying it eight years ago, when a friend turned 50 this year. 


On 5/11/2021 at 12:41 AM, Arkanabar said:

I look at all the pens I have that I don't write with, or even just all those I have never opened,


Several new gold-nibbed Sailor, Platinum, Pilot and Lamy pens are still languishing in their retail boxes at the back of a drawer (along with some decent steel-nibbed pens), but that hasn't stopped me from putting another six pens on order last month. My nieces and nephew can't grow up quickly enough, and they're probably sick of getting fountain pens from me by then anyway.


It's an addiction. :sick:


I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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