Like selecting a Krispy Kreme donut, I often look at my pen collection and am totally confused as to which one to choose. There is simply TOO MUCH INKY/SUGARY CHOICE!
This got me thinking…what if I have too many pens? What if I am so blinded by choice that I end up not using any of them?! And do I really want a Krispy Kreme after all?
Pens are there to be used after all. And I want pens that I really really dig, not 13 that I kinda like. I’m learning about what my tastes are, what nibs I prefer and what my fountain soulmate looks like.
1. What is the magic number?
12? 6? A MILLION!? Who knows how many brain cells Trump has…or the right number of pens to enjoy.
Here are the 13 I have at the moment and a little low down on my thoughts:
- Lamy 2000, M nib – ADORE IT
- Sailor Pro Gear Slim, HB – I want to like it so much, but I can’t get on with the feedback of the nib
- Pilot VP, M nib – hardly ever use it, don’t know why, it just doesn’t get picked up
- TWSBI Vac Mini, M and EF – daily writer for me!
- TWSBI Diamond 580, F – my first ‘proper pen’, and I love its heft and writing style. BUT tend to reach for my Vac Mini more
- Lamy Al Star, EF – another first, first fountain pen I ever bought.
- Edison Collier, M and F nib – special gift from my aunt, would never part with!
- Pilot Custom 74, F – one of my favourite nibs ever, super smooth with a bit of give!
- Pilot Custom Heritage 91, SM – as above!
- Kaweco Al Sport, F – always in my pocket for a quick note
- Parker Duofold, B flex – charity shop find, but nib not for me, too broad and not flexible enough.
- Parker 25 Flighter, M – another find and such a useable, smooth nib
- Conway Stewart 12, F flex – a seriously flexi bitch!
So, tough decisions for culling, but I feel like 6 would see more use on a day to day basis. It’s enough to have variety without getting bored, but not being overwhelmed with guilt when leaving one of your pretties uninked for awhile. Or is that just me?
2. Do I already use it a bunch? OR would I use it if I had less choice? Can I get a custom nib grind?
Some of the above I use all the time and adore. Others I adore but rarely use. What’s a girl to do?! For example, my TWSBI Diamond 580 is beautiful, but I never pick it up over my mini. So could a custom nib be a good option? Maybe a cursive italic or an oblique? I’ve yet to try a specialist grind; maybe this option will help me get more out of my fleet!
3. Do I really need it?!
Well, you could argue that who needs anything over a biro. But then I would kill you. Slowly and painfully.
That said, do I need MORE pens? I have way more than I already use in a day, and I could get oodles more enjoyment from focusing on the experience of a select few. Quality over quantity.
4. Is it sexy? And does it have sentimental value?
If it looks mighty fine and a nice person gave it to me, then I’m keeping it. End of. Especially if the nice person was mighty fine looking too.
5. Is there room for a grail pen?
I’m contemplating selling a few and getting a serious grail pen. I’m a bit bored of the gold nibs around the £100-200 range and want to venture out into the big boys! Current contenders are:
- Visconti Homo Sapiens Oversize, F nib
- Mont Blanc 146, F nib
- A custom made Twiss pen
- Any Visconti come to think of it
- A Franklin Christoph…I’ve not tried one yet you see
- Pelikan M800
- Another one that I’m sure you’ll all end up telling me I need!
My main criteria are: is it mean looking? Could it be wielded as a weapon? Dat nib tho’?! Simples.
6. F**k it: do I just keep them all and make an effort to use them on a rotation basis?
Or…do I stop over thinking it, continue to hoard and get even more strict on how I use my existing pens? Like a 3 in, 3 out basis for the month? I mean, I failed the 6 pen challenge miserably (it ended at 12 pens inked…), so maybe this wouldn’t work either?
So there you have it. I have essentially asked you a load of questions to help me with my predicament! I hope you’ve found it useful in some way ;).
Have you culled the herd recently? How did you decide what made the cut?
Keep those nibs mucky!