It doesn’t sound as sexy as a Male on Monday, does it? And when we talk about temptations most of us think of the usual indulgences: a tropical island retreat, a candlelight dinner, new shoes, a sleep in (!), luscious chocolate truffles, a day in retail therapy, a week alone with our TBR pile… Yet, among the many romance readers and writers I know a surprisingly large number have a weakness for stationery.
Whether it’s funky designs and brightly patterned sticky notes, pads with cute messages, elegant pens or the sort of thick, creamy velvet paper that makes you long to write something wonderful, stationery is a hugely popular item.
Maybe it’s to do with our love of books. Though e-reading is increasing in popularity a lot of readers still say they love the feel and smell of a book in their hands, the physical sensation of curling up with that story. From an early age we fell for words on paper. In a similar way I think many of us who love the written word are drawn to the gorgeous array of stationery items that we can’t do without.
Go on, put your hand up if you’ve succumbed to the lure of the glitter gel pen (just for special messages), the multi-coloured post it notes or kaleidoscope tinted paper clips. Do you drool over embossed stationery and envelopes with decorative rice paper lining? Do you run your hands possessively over soft as butter leather journals, or the ones made to look like a vintage traveller’s diary from Paris and Rome?
Do you have a soft spot for the old Florentine design or Mickey Mouse note paper or even custom designed stationery of your own? Personalised address stickers? Notice boards with fancy pins? Fun diaries? Novelty design erasers? Hand made paper or pens that glide across the page for those days when the words flow so fast you can barely get them down (I wish!).
For the really serious, how about calligraphy sets or sealing wax and a personalised seal? The smell of sealing wax seems to make writing and sending letters somehow more significant.
Have you ever used a (modern) quill pen? Late last year I spent a night in a castle looking across vineyards to the river below (yes, I know how disgustingly luck I was). At the desk in the window nook was some gorgeous linen-finish paper, embossed with a scene of the castle, and a ‘quill’ pen (no ink well required, this was an up market biro). I used all the stationery in the desk! I sat and sipped sherry and wrote letters and felt very special indeed. Why not share my adventures with friends who’d love the holiday update and also get a kick out of the castle stationery? And they did – without fail.
Getting letters and parcels in the mail is such a thrill (except for window envelopes with bills inside). Sending out letters on great stationery is something that makes me feel good too, as I know others like the treat of a hand written message, plus it’s an excuse to indulge a taste for nice paper and cards.
How about you? Does stationery tempt you? Do you linger over the stationery supplies even though you don’t need anything, just in case you see something you just have to have? What’s your favourite piece of office paraphernalia or stationery?
To stimulate discussion, Annie is offering a choice of backlist book to one person who leaves a comment.
This month Annie is celebrating the almost release of her next US release. BLACKMAILED BRIDE, INEXPERIENCED WIFE goes on sale in December.
It was written straight onto computer, but plot points and queries were scrawled in a large purple spiral notebook Annie keeps on her desk and her fluoro post it notes were invaluable to mark passages as she revised that book.