“Oh, they don’t count”

I have a guilty secret. I have even more pens in my collection than I show in my SotC posts.

First are the cheap pens that I’ve foisted on my eldest daughter. A slew of TWSBI Ecos in beautiful colours that I keep wanting to write with. A Kaweco Perkeo. Kaco Retro. Muji aluminium. Lamy Nexx. Not to mention the more expensive Visconti Van Gogh and Birmingham Type A. They sit in her room, in bright pencil cases. Surely they don’t count?

Then there are the pens I can’t sell, or can’t be bothered to sell. The stinky Esterbrook Phaeton. The PenBBS 335 that I hacked about with. The broken Leonardo without a clip. The cracked Visconti Van Gogh. They live in a drawer with a host of other lost gear. Surely they don’t count?

There are the old faithfuls that I’ve more or less retired. The original Desiderata Soubriquet. My mother’s Parker 45. They live with my spare nibs and converters in a little cigar box, which once held my whole collection! Surely these pens can rest easy — they don’t count?

There are the not-quite pens. Half a dozen glass dip pens, a rosewood oblique nib holder, and a dozen or so EDC ballpoints and rollerballs, most of which live gathering dust in my Dudek block. If I’m a fountain pen blogger, surely these don’t count?

Then there are the review pens, pens that I buy or solicit from brands because I think my readers want to know about them, not because they are must-keep pens for me personally. Some are mine to keep, others are on loan. If I didn’t buy them for me, surely they don’t count?

And most terrifyingly, there are the pens that aren’t even here yet. The custom Clavijo. ASC Arco Gladiatore Medio. Montegrappa Duetto. Lamy Bauhaus. Pelikan M1005. Schon pocket pen. Kaweco Petrol. Pelikan M600 white tortoise. Santini Tosca. My second Karas Vertex and second cocobolo Soubriquet. Pilot Custom Urushi. These live around the world, gradually inching their way to my door in suitcases and jiffy bags. If I can’t see them or photograph them, surely they don’t count?

I know what Marie Kondo would say. Sure as hell they count. Get em all together in a pile and see just how many pens you really have. But she doesn’t have the pen bug. Surely her opinion doesn’t count?!

9 thoughts on ““Oh, they don’t count”

    • Since I like keeping my pens in big 48 pen cases, even the broken or cheap ones, I see the state of the “acumulation” all too well…


  1. All the pens already in my daughter’s bright clutches don’t count.

    Neither does the Montblanc Mozart I bought “for her” when she started school, the matching 149 so the Mozart is “just like daddy’s pen”, the three Viscontis she has claimed for “when I grow up” or the Stipula I no longer use that she thinks is pretty.

    Makes perfect sense 😬.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. In fact, they do count. Answer me this. Are you a collector? Or are you a pen hoarder? Stephen Brown said this quite eloquently. If your pile of pens does not have a direction, a focus, then it is a hoard. Otherwise if there is a clear focus or direction then it is a collection.

    Well now. What am I? I have a clear penchant for brushed steel pens with gold trim. And sometimes yes sometimes I diverge from this path and buy ‘interesting stuff’. Brass or gilded pens. Resin Montblancs. Feisty bright colored Kawecos. A couple of huge Wing Sung 590. A Shrek themed plastic Parker Vector. But mostly yes there is focus. And still the ‘others’ do count and are in use. As so many of them


  3. They only count if you are counting. I would propose that the total number matters way less than the joy they brought, do, or will, bring you and your kids.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: UKFP Uncapped: 15th September 2019 | UK fountain pens

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