Musings: Using Up Collectables

I’ve written about using collectable pencils, pens, and paper in the past. I’m a combined collector and user of materials. I see the real value of a tool in its eventual use, and what it was used to make. My Field Notes have little value to me until I fill them with my thoughts. My various Baronfig and Blackwing pencils are just pencils until I whittle them down via my writing.

I went through a major office reorganization and clean out post Work from Home (WFH) and discovered a lot of stuff really. I have about 40 composition notebooks that are empty, a drawer full of journals to be used, I had 15 pencils cups full of pencils in various states of disuse. The end result was chaos.

Things had to change, largely due to space constraints- the office needs to be usable for both my partner and myself, but because my partner works from home the office needs to be largely useful for her, while my office needs are smaller- I need to get at my sewing machine, and my keyboard, and a spot to read. Having 15 pencil cups is ridiculous. Having boxes and boxes of pencils I’ll never use is also ridiculous.

I filled a medium flat rate box with pencils and pens. They’ll get donated to a school in the near future.

To avoid my urge to add more pencil cups to my desk I gave myself 1 dozen in a single cup, with the rule that I’ll sharpen them down and when I finish one, I’ll reach into a box and pull out one at random to replace it. I’m whittling them down as I write and fill composition notebooks.

As for pens. Well, I’m figuring that out. I mostly use ink at work but I also want to drain a few pens. I found a hoard of fountain pens that had slid into a drawer… still full of ink. They are soaking now, and I’ll get them clean and dry and I’ll figure out what I’ll do with them later.
I’ve realized through my somewhat compulsive collection of pencils, pens and paper (other stationery goods) that there are things I’m drawn to use and those that I just wish to look at for awhile. I’m drawn to use soft dark smooth writing pencils, inks with sheen, and things that feel pleasant in my hand. I like to use these on inexpensive paper that has been a good deal. I create value through the use of my materials. While they may have value to others while they are empty and collect dust on my shelves, I wish to create more value through their use.

Will I stop buying limited editions? Probably not entirely, but I’m definitely reducing my purchases and focusing on use. Inside each limited edition is the same core/paper as the regular editions, simply at a higher price and I have to determine how much the look of something pleases me over the regular edition.