A few weeks ago a customer came into the shop looking for sophisticated stationery. This twenty-something gentleman had recently acquired a Parisian pen pal (the stuff dreams are made of!) and was overwhelmed by the task of responding to the beautiful letter he had received par avion.
Without a clue at first as to what he was looking for (but certain that he’d know it when he found it) he wandered the store, occasionally asking for guidance or opinions, or consulting with two friends in tow. Eventually he decided (to our delight and approval) to go with a set of light blue bordered G. Lalo note cards – made in France, natch.
G. Lalo - France
Our young suitor served as an excellent reminder of why stationery goods are so appealing to such a wide variety of people. In an age when computers are so omnipresent we carry them in our pockets -- and even stationery shops have blogs -- stationery is becoming not obsolete, but more precious, more inspiring, and more fun!
The Regional Assembly of Text - Canada
For some, the idea of a “pen pal” is a quaint one, loaded with memories of summer camp or travels abroad. Perhaps a geographic separation from a significant other was eased by the exchange of letters. It’s likely you’ve held on to a few of these missives, the creased pages and scrawled endearments more precious each time you discover them. The feel of the paper transports you to the moment you tore open the envelope and luxuriated in the simple pleasure of holding in your hands a card or letter sheet a loved one so recently selected just for you.
Arpa - Spain
Letter writing is a truly affordable and accessible luxury. Though our customer was initially unaware of the nuances of fine stationery, his instincts and taste brought him to one of the most beautiful offerings we have. The tactile pleasure of holding a beautiful piece of paper requires no training to experience – you simply know it’s the good stuff. The act of sitting quietly, and thoughtfully hand writing has always been an enjoyable pastime, made all the more gratifying for its modern rarity. Once the letter’s signed, folding the sheet and sealing the envelope creates a satisfying feeling of accomplishment. And while writing the recipient’s name and address, your mind can wander, imagining their delight when they see your penmanship.
Albertine Press - Boston, USA
The ritual of exchanging letters dates back thousands of years, but even in these modern times it has a feeling of luxury. Perhaps this can be attributed to the pervasive and wide-ranging means of immediate communication, and the forgotten pleasures of anticipation and intention. Or perhaps it’s the feeling of being tied to a not-so-distant past, when the written word carried more weight.
I have a hunch that it’s the appeal of that everyday magic, that aura of love and history.