Thursday, March 04, 2010

Paper, a love story.

Today I was in the Publication Center at my place of work, where there was an open ream of paper called Long Grain Cockle Finish something or other. It reminded me of the typing paper of my youth. It was beautiful: ivory colored, crisp and yet redolent of textile. Reader, I stole a sheet or two. Or three.

Who among us does not love paper? Lo, even those of us who spend far too much time in the glare of the digital simulacrum have been known to melt, verily even to swoon, at the odd notebook. I myself have notebooks in many many forms: composition books, handmade notebooks, the ubiquitous and yet still very sexy Moleskine (it is shocking how many kinds of these I have), sketchbooks. All these and more, and I'm not even trying very hard to enumerate.

Also, random paper: I love sheets of art paper, handmade or otherwise. There is an arts and crafts store in the general vicinity of Sonoma County where my bff lives that has the certifiably most awesome collection of awesome art papers in the entire universe. Or so I'm told. Or maybe I just surmise it, because I have bought beautiful lacy Japanese rice paper there, and paper made of leaves, and paper with flowers, actual flowers, built into it. What do I do with this paper? Well, sometimes I make things out of it, and sometimes I just keep it. And sometimes I unroll it to admire it, then roll it back up. This paper lines the drawers, walls, and bookcovers of my dreams.

And what about the school notebook? School's true beauty, if ever there were any, is entirely imbued within the covers of a fresh notebook, either three-ring and filled with college-ruled paper, or spiral-bound, likewise ruled, that has yet to be written upon. Blank and still promising.

Well, I have not decided what I will do with the sheets of cockle-finished ivory paper I pilfered. Maybe I will write something on it. Maybe a love letter, perhaps with the beautiful new fountain pen (the Pelikan junior fountain pen--awesome, colorful, and cheap, which is my personal motto) that recently arrived in the mail. Who ordered it? I, paper- and pen-loving and acquisitive, did. I ordered that pen for myself.

tags: paper


  1. We can make the paper store a stop this summer, yes? And if you stop by the Bergamot Art Center during your LA adventure, go to Hiromi Paper and be prepared to lay down lots of money. Check out the delicious Japanese digital paper you can print your photographs on. Paper!

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  3. Once I fell in love with a girl just because she used the word "simulacrum" in our first normal conversation. I never told her that. That same girl got called into the BYU honor code office for joking (or so she would have us believe) about stealing apples from the BYU bookstore. Be careful.
    Sometimes I wish the only way we could get paper was to make it ourselves because I think we would take it more seriously. Then I come to my senses. I more frequently wish the same about cookies and candy, but I still come to my senses.
    Also, that OK GO video up over there to the right is pretty much making my day despite the snow.

  4. I think you've made paper yourself, right? And you have a genius for giving beautiful cards printed also on beautiful paper.

    I saw the talented writer Sara Zarr the other day, who had a package tucked beneath her arm. We opened it and lo it was filled with fancy pens and expensive notebooks and we both said yes! It feels like Christmas today.

  5. I saw that paper in the PC. I have no idea where it came from. I shall make you a blank book out of it.

  6. So true, HT. And so many future, related blogs I would love to see you explore, e.g. the smells of paper; the psychic energy in a blank piece of paper; how tan, wide-ruled, dotted-lined, grade school paper manipulates one into a lifelong love affair with all things papery, etc. This was a wonderful start, but get on it, please.

  7. To be brief:


    Do we write actually only because we love paper? Are there scrivening souls who hate paper?

  8. I love paper but I have such horrible handwriting, there's nothing much I can do with it. I buy it by the individual sheet and then stash it away until it crumples.
    I wish I had your handwriting to properly grace the beautiful papers of the world.

  9. otoh - That Polonius was an idiot so why be brief?

    Just watched the GO video which I must pilfer now and play each morning until I'm whole again because (both laughing and with tears wetting my cheeks) there is something about such gleeful and careful chaos that is like a Get out of Jail Free card in this life-size game of Mordopoly.

    (thank you)



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