15 types of pen addict

(edit: this post is getting a hell of a lot of traffic from Facebook. Would someone mine telling me where it’s been discussed, or tag me there? Thank you!)

(Double edit: it looks like someone has translated my list into Swedish!)

After careful research, I present a true and accurate dissection of our community.

  1. The Curator. Carefully explores the pen landscape, buys one of everything, and tracks it all in a ridiculously detailed spreadsheet.
  2. The Crazy Cat Lady. Why have one Kaweco Sport when you can have 50?
  3. The Archaeologist. Believes that anything made after 1950 is junk. Buys trays of old pens at car boot sales and antique shops, and hasn’t quite gotten round to restoring them. Has incredibly inky fingers.
  4. The Magpie. Always chasing the latest releases, especially the Limited Editions with sparkles, and shimmer inks.
  5. Mr Status. Only buys Montblancs and Montegrappas dusted with precious metals. Never inks them.
  6. Otaku-san. Lives in Surbiton surrounded by Nakayas and bottles of rare ink you can only buy from a tiny village in rural Japan.
  7. El Minimalissimo. Through sheer force of will owns only a single Lamy 2000 and one bottle of black ink. Reads pen forums every day, just for the thrill of fighting the temptation.
  8. The Mad Professor. Every pen is a frankenpen. Desk is covered in nibs and tools and ink spatters. Can’t leave anything alone. Voids warranties with a single glance.
  9. The Bargain-Hunter. Only buys pens from China for less than £2 each, including shipping, a converter, and a free side of intellectual property theft.
  10. Mr Ordinary. Teetering at the top of a slippery slope, Mr Ordinary has a few moderately priced pens that he enjoys using for work and letter-writing.
  11. The Hipster. Won’t buy any pen that Goulet or Cult Pens stocks, because he hates conformity. Instead, hunts down obscure hobbyist makers from as far away as possible to commission one-offs that make people on Instagram jealous.
  12. The Goldfish. Buys a new pen, gets bored, sells it again in a matter of weeks. Rinse and repeat. Sometimes with the exact same pen.
  13. Big-Game Hunter. Sets his heart on a true grail pen, as unobtainable as possible. Researches its territory, its habits. Searches tirelessly for years, tracking it down pace by pace. It’s an all-consuming passion. Then once he gets it? The hunt begins anew.
  14. The Hoarder. Buys any pen he sees. Never sells anything. Lives surrounded by huge Visconti boxes, living off Tesco Value baked beans.
  15. The Naive Enthusiast. Has no idea what they want. Backs awful Kickstarter projects with gay abandon. Asks perfectly Google-able questions on Fountain Pen Facebook groups. But too cheerful to be mean to.

See anybody you recognise?

43 thoughts on “15 types of pen addict

  1. That was great and had me laughing at 2, 8 and 14. I never understand “crazy cat ladies” and having multiple of the same pen, I guess different nibs is quite a change, but sometimes it’s just colour and they have 15 fines… 🙂


  2. Not sure whether to feel amused or mocked and insulted by this! An interesting set of observations and I agree that these characteristics are not mutually exclusive. Perhaps we need a ‘strongly agree- strongly disagree’ scale against every trait.
    People are complicated.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That had me in tears! I really needed to laugh at something this afternoon and it turns out laughing at oneself when a mirror is unexpectedly held up in front of you is all the better for improving the mood!

    Thank you Ant!

    ps: It turns out I have a smudge of Serenity blue on my nose courtesy of my daughter at breakfast, just spotted in an actual mirror, it’s a happy asylum isn’t it?


    • I got a comment from the wife last week of “have you cut you head, or is it ink?” Managed to wipe a dot of Diamine Red Dragon across my forehead, at least it wasn’t Oxblood which really does make me think I’ve cut myself when I find it on my hands…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pretty spot on! Perhaps you could have used non-gendered descriptors and pronouns though? They don’t add much to the piece, only perpetuate sexist stereotypes. I’m part Curator, part CCL (when it comes to Nakayas, Dupont Olympios), but a bit of Mr Status as well.


  5. LOL I know most of these types.

    Personally I am a combination of 1. The Curator (but with a FileMaker Pro database), 5. Mr. Status (Pelikans and gold nibs) and formerly 13. Big Game Hunter.


  6. Create a “pen personality test” with a bunch of questions in which you ask people to rate how well they respond/relate to a given concept/idea (1-5), and then have an overall way to bucket yourself based on your score!


  7. A most excellent list! I am strongly #8, but I would advocate for a number 16: “The Scribe” Every pen must be adjusted to create every type of hand from Heiroglyphs to Foundation Hand.! His home is a scriptorium with pages of calligraphy everywhere! His desk is very like that of monk/scribe of old, strewn with tools of the trade, old and new!


  8. Pingback: UKFP Uncapped: 28th September 2019 | UK fountain pens

  9. Thanks for the great recollection of types. I also arrived here from The Well Appointed Desk.
    I would like to think of myself as Mr. Ordinary, but I have 200 pens, 50 inks and a ridiculous spreadsheet to track them. Including a series of Sheaffer Imperial I, II, III, IV, VI, VIII and a series of Waterman Man, Le Man 200, Le Man 100, Gentleman 21, Gentleman 44, Gentleman…
    So I guess I am a Curator with a sense of guilt because I cannot use them all, and a limited budget.
    Besides, I am always on the verge of opening a new tab in my spreadsheet to list my favourite Kaweco Sport colours and the available nibs, to define the “Ultimate Collection”.


  10. I am somewhere between El Minimalissimo and Mr. Ordinary.

    Lamy 2000 with Sailor Souten being my combo. Collection completed with few more inks and few pens.

    Always on slope because of blogs like this 😂


  11. OMG, you are so spot on! I’m a magpie, crazy cat lady, etc., etc. And I love finding pens that I imagine are somewhat hard to get in the U.S., thinking not everybody will have one of these. But hey – if I found it online, I’m sure somebody else can, too. I mainly just hope most people won’t notice those particular models. Example? Petrol AL Sport at fontoplumo.com. Only sold in Belgium and The Netherlands. I like to imagine how sneaky I am, finding this “obscure” fountain pen. See what I just did there? Now everybody will want one. 🙂


  12. I’m like the magpie but with no money so its just pretty pens and shimmer inks. Based on my collection I would appear to be the bargain hunter as well but most of the cheap pens were small gifts from my parents 🙂 accurate list.


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