A quick, no-nonsense gift guide for 2020

I promised myself I wouldn’t do a gift guide for this year. But here goes. If you’re looking to buy some presents for the fountain pen lover in your life, and you have no idea where to start, let me try to help.

The rules are simple:

  • No pens. (Apart from a couple of cheats at the end). Your giftee probably has strong preferences. Either they’ve told you what they want, in which case you don’t need me, or they haven’t told you, in which case you’ll get it wrong.
  • No item over £50 (I suggest a couple of cheats though for those of you with deep pockets…). Just to be fair to everyone’s tighter belts this Christmas.
  • Nothing common. Few things are as disappointing as getting a gift you’ve already got.
  • Nothing off-topic. Yes, we all love pencils and art equipment and rollerballs, pencil sharpeners, desk lamps, etc. That’s not what I’m here for. I’m sticking here to pens, paper, ink, and pen storage.

Here’s my list:

  1. A glass dip pen. Pretty, cheap, and genuinely useful. This one from Write Here will do.
  2. Blotting paper. If you’ve never used blotting paper, you’re missing out. Pretty pink Herbin stuff is super cheap and works well.
  3. Tomoe River pocket notebooks. I like the ones from Pebble Stationery. Start at Nero’s Notes. Pebble also has an A5 holiday edition.
  4. Ink swatch cards. You can never have too many. Cult Pens stocks them.
  5. Kaweco Perkeo Calligraphy set. Even a diehard pen addict will have fun mucking around with this, and at £25 it won’t break the bank. Cult have it in stock.
  6. Some unusual inks. Why not check out the excellent in-house range from Pure Pens, the new Scribo 90ml bottles from Write Here, the pretty grey ink of the year Edelstein Moonstone, or check out Choosing Keeping for their own blue and a range of imports from Kobe Japan?
  7. A journal to love forever. I’m a fan of Elia Note, but they’re currently sold out. You could get a Galen Leather notebook with the risk of importing from Turkey, a William Hannah from the UK (£99), or if you really want to push the boat out, a Musubi.
  8. A pen roll from Rickshaw. Order direct from San Francisco and leave plenty of time, but you’ll get exactly what you want.

And here are the cheats:

  1. The Galen Writing Box or Medic Bag. Give your giftee’s stationery a truly special home that’s practical and attractive. Look here.
  2. A Schon P6. No matter what kind of pen your recipient likes, the P6 will find a niche (probably in their pocket). You can get the full range of colours from the US at $135, but if you’re happy with slightly more boring colours, the lovely folks at Izods will be a quicker bet at £110.
  3. A truly custom pen from Loft Pens. If you REALLY know the colours, size and shape your giftee wants, you can get exactly the pen for them from Loft.

My suggestions not hitting the mark? Check out the smart tips from Nanosphere.

5 thoughts on “A quick, no-nonsense gift guide for 2020

  1. Pingback: Fountain Pen Quest Trail Log – November 15, 2020 | Fountain Pen Quest

    • Ugh, you know what, I had that on my brainstorm for this post but forgot to include it! I just invested in a gold nib upgrade for my Lamy Studio :). Excellent point!


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