Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Pens & More Pens!

Whenever I'm in the City, I make a beeline for the Kinokuniya Stationery store in Japantown Mall. They have a fantastic selection of Japanese stationery, pens, pencils, and notebooks, and let me tell you, as in soft-drinks, cell phones, cosplay, and kawaii, the Japanese are light-years ahead of us when it comes to office and school supplies.

Their pens are cooler, and more varied, their notebooks come in all sorts of marvelous sizes and shapes; they have erasers shaped like sushi; and pink staplers that look like eggs. Pen cases of every shape and size, tiny stickers, even their post-it notes are cute. Totoro stuffies, post-cards, and decorative tape.

But it the pens that I long for. Though I don't write fiction in long-hand, I do write lots of other stuff, and I am very peculiar about what I write with. For a long time, I wrote with a dip pen, but that's not very portable. I can't stand writing with anything other than a fountain pen, and even then, only certain pens will do. Fat Mont Blancs--bleh. I like sharp nibs that will continue to write even upside down. I do not like calligraphy nibs at all. Give me a blue Pilot Petit1 pen and I'm happy. For some reason, Americans don't seem to use fountain pens much, so the everyday fountain pen is hard to find. Kinokuniya has an excellent selection, along with refills. But alas, they do not ship.

Jetpens, however, does.

They also have minipens, folders, lettersets, and, of course, fountain pens. Jetpens office supplies are not quite as spectacular as Kinokuniya and you can't get a crepe with ice cream and strawberries when you are done shopping, but certainly they are better than nothing.

So, if you don't use a fountain pen, here's your chance. I promise you that once you get used to the smooth feeling of real ink flowing across the blank page, you shall eschew gel and ballpoint pens forever.

And speaking of crepes--the concept of filling a crepe with fruit and whipped cream, folding it up like an ice cream cone, and filling it then with ice cream is such a wonderful idea that I don't understand why the US is not blanketed with Sophie's Crepes.

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