I’ve been using fountain pens for a long time now. When I started I probably used only two pens and two ink colors for 20 years. And then I learned how to buy online, and went on eBay. You know how things can escalate. It doesn’t help that I have so many friends who are enablers.
When people ask me, “Are you a pen collector?” I have a hard time answering, because when I think of collectors and collections, I think of people who have a certain focus or goal in mind, in terms of what they collect. For a good while all I wanted was to find some interesting pens that wrote well. It was my goal to rotate and use them all. I think of myself as an enthusiast, a user/accumulator.
As I learned more about fountain pens, I began to move away from the cheap and cheerful, toward pens of better quality. One day I realized I preferred using some pens more than others. I used to justify my acquisitions by saying that I try to use everything, but that’s not so true anymore. Since my wallet (and storage space) has its limits, I figured it was time to downsize.
I gave away a number of pens already. It’s time to sell others that didn’t make the cut. That’s them in the photo above. I’ve sold a pen or two before, but I really need to be more decisive about which pens need to be sold. Every time I clean and test a pen for sale, I feel like I’m getting to know the pen again. And guess what, I keep changing my mind. But a few days later I see something else I like better, and back it goes into the “declutter pile”.
Sometimes I feel like Meryl Streep in Sophie’s Choice, until I tell myself that these are only inanimate objects and I shouldn’t be too attached to any of them. (Well, of course, except those I received as gifts from loved ones.)
The cull is the hardest part. Photographing everything and putting them up for sale is a heroic and worthy effort. Once I get over this first big pen sale I suppose it’ll come easier next time.
I see my fountain pen inks growing in number, too. Fortunately they are consumables. There are just so many beautiful colors out there! Once I get Rohrer & Klingner Alt Goldgrun, that’s it. End of the ink-buying – for now. (Famous last words.)
Our local pen group membership is growing. It’s time to spread the love.