16 February 2011

The Importance of a Pen

I have never been one to obsess over the sort of pen I use or insist on anything expensive.  My favorite has always been a Sharpie Pen, but I have used many others and never even had a strong preference for ball point, gel, or felt tip.  When I recently ran across a really bad pen, though, I began to understand how important one's choice of writing instrument is.

Of course, I know among the community of people who love journals, there is a strong preference for fountain pens.  Obviously, I've never taken any interest in something that specialized.

On a recent trip to New York I came across a really good idea for a pen at Sam Flax.  I picked it up as an afterthought-- an impulse purchase at the cash register.  I don't remember what the price was, but it was inexpensive enough that it made no impression.  The pen was stainless steel, about two inches long, and smaller in radius than a No. 2 pencil.  It had a screw-on cap and-- this is the great part-- it was TELESCOPING.  Wonderful!  A two inch pen that expanded to 5!

Unfortunately, the design excellence did not extend to the writing quality.  It was ball point and very dry.  I had to scribble on a blank page every time I started writing, a great deal of pressure was required to create a line, and the ink would frequently "stall," resulting in a line that started and stopped.  The writing was so messy that it basically ruined the pages I used it on.

The moral of the story for me is that, even if you aren't picky about your pens, there are some minimum requirements for all of us.  Personally, I have found that I prefer a pen with a cap (less prone to messy leaks), black ink, and a smooth, even release of ink on the page.  I also prefer a fairly thick line so that my writing stands out on the page.

Don't buy the wrong pen for your needs-- a journal is a terrible thing to waste!

No comments:

Post a Comment