B Adventures in Stationery

Adventures in Stationery: A Journey Through Your Pencil Case, by James Ward

I received my pre-ordered copy yesterday, the day this book was released.

The book lives up to my expectations. It truly epitomizes “Celebrate the Ordinary,” the motto of our Dull Men’s Club.

I’ve enjoyed stationery stores for many years. I love to wander around looking at what’s new in office products as well as the tried-and-true that are still on the shelves. I always leave with more stuff than anticipated.

So it’s no surprise that Adventures in Stationery, with its fascinating history, background, and the author’s personal experiences about products I’ve long admired, is a page-turner.

So far I’ve learned:

•  It’s unclear who invented the paper clip.

•  Before Joseph Priestly invented the rubber eraser in 1770, errors made by pencils were removed with stale bread.

• The words “pencil” and “penis” are derived from the same latin word, “penicillin,” which was an artists’s brush.

The book ends with “The pen is not dead. Long live the pen.” You don’t need a “good signal” to write with a pen, a pen does not required a charger, a pen does not crash — losing all your work.

James Ward

On August 30 we blogged about the upcoming release of the book “Fascinated with stationery, especially staplers.”

Leland Carlson
12 September 2014