The Japanese, I am told, really love their stationery. Pens, pencils, erasers, special paper, cases for everything — one trip to Muji, my favorite store, will confirm this. Unfortunately, stationeriphilia in the US is more of a high-class “my pen is made out of solid gold” affair. So when JetPens, an etailer for Japanese pens and miscellany, offered to send a couple of their favorite things, I accepted gladly. There’s so much stuff there that I just had them select a few things at random — and this is what I got.
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A stylish little fountain pen – thinner and more portable than your average fountain pen (or quill).
A chubbier fountain pen – what can I say? It’s chubbier.
Mechanical pencil with auto-rotating lead – I haven’t been able to observe it very closely, but supposedly this pencil actually rotates the pencil lead just a little bit every time you lift the tip from the page, meaning you’re always using a fresh and sharp part of the lead. True? Possibly. Awesome? Definitely.
Twist eraser that’s all corners – a great idea. It’s a little wobbly, but the fact that it’s made up almost entirely of corners means you can erase little lines without messing with the neighboring letters or other bits of drawing.
Standing pencil case – honestly, not too exciting. I have one of these already, it’s called the cup on my desk.
“Beetle tip” highlighter – you can highlight all the text, use just a little tip to circle or whatever, or you can put lines above and below. Not such a huge advance over the traditional wedge shape, but hey, why not?
I know, I know, this isn’t a stationery blog. But I think sometimes we forget that there is innovation and weird stuff going on where you least expect it — in mechanical pencils and stuff. You like gadgets, so why not have a gadgety pen, or have a crazy pencil that sharpens itself? Live the life!