(Sarah Read is an author, editor, yarn artist, and pen/paper/ink addict. You can find more about her at her website and on Twitter. And check out her latest book, Out of Water, now available where books are sold!)
Here we are at the end of 2020, with 2021 looming. Perhaps rather than a sparkling ball, we'll be dropping the other shoe. But, as Galadriel says, "Hope remains while the company is true" and there's no better company than the stationery community. A lot of us have sought solace and sanity in our hobby and in each other this year, and despite my analog disposition, I'm so grateful for the tech that has kept us in touch.
Whether it was Twitter, Instagram, or Brad's Twitch streams, reaching out to my pen fam helped dull the sting of lost pen shows and clubs. And thank goodness for online pen stores and the mail carriers who make them possible. I didn't save any money by not going to a pen show, that's for sure. Instead of the Chicago Pen Show, it was the Sarah's Mailbox Pen Show. I regret nothing.
A number of my 2020 acquisitions deserve a special shout-out. And my first accolade goes to the noble highlighter. I started grad school this fall, studying Library and Information Science. As you can imagine, there's a bit of reading in that field. I burned through 2-3 highlighters a week for my 14-week semester. Some were too dry, or too wet, or too awkward to hold, or ran out too quickly--but they all were necessary and I never went anywhere without a few of them. I could not have functioned without them and they were absolutely necessary to a successful semester. I raise my glass to you, highlighters.
My highlighters' constant companion was the King Jim Magflap Clipboard. A lot of my reading was scholarly articles that I'd printed out, and this clipboard made reading them a lot easier and more comfortable. I could curl up in a cozy chair and still have a reading and writing surface, and it fit perfectly in my bag when I needed to take my work on the go.
My third accolade, also used for school, was the Roterfaden Taschenbegleiter. It held the notebooks I used for lecture notes. The clip system, which I expected to be obtrusive and possibly even annoying, is actually fabulous. It's much more secure than an elastic band notebook system, and the clips never got in the way at all. I've already got it refilled for next semester.
Clearly the majority of my praise is going to practical things--in the year 2020, I most appreciate the things that made my life easier. But don't worry, it's not all school supplies. My absolute favorite stationery item I got this year was my birthday/mother's day present from my husband, a long-coveted Galen Leather Writer's Medic Bag in crazy horse green. In the stationary year of stationery it mostly sits on my desk, holding pens and looking pretty. But it is SO pretty, and sometimes I carry it around the house with me. You know, in case I want to write upstairs, or in the kitchen while I make more tea. I can't wait to take it to a pen show, though I know that may not be till 2022.
My favorite pen of the year was the Spoke Roady, and I'm not just saying that because Brad is my friend. It's a phenomenal pen and I've used it every day since it arrived. If there's one thing to look forward to in 2021, it's more Spoke pens.
I think there's a lot to look forward to in 2021, though. Maybe not all the things we normally look forward to, but I know I'm looking forward to chatting with you all about pens and paper and ink for the coming year. Take care and Happy New Year!
#Highlighter #Roterfaden #SpokePen #GalenLeather #KingJim