Journals Part 2: Fountain Pens

Now that you’ve had the pleasure of viewing pictures that are far too dark and shadowed for my liking in the previous post, we can turn our attention to writing implements.

These pictures come straight from my favorite store to buy fountain pens in the United States: Paradise Pen. We are so fortunate, in fact, as to have an actual store in the neighboring community. So I can visit in person. Where they know me as “the girl who always smiles” Because who wouldn’t be smiling in a pen store?!

The pen above is the Mont Blanc LeGrand. It is so ridiculously expensive that a.) a teacher has no reasonable justification in owning one and b.) they do not even list the price on their site. When I bought mine, in 1991, it was around $350.00 even then (or, the equivalent of about 15 Chanel lipsticks, take your pick). Worth the price? Then, certainly. Now? I’m not so sure. However, I bought it because it writes better than anything you can imagine.

Now, for every day use, one can choose this option:

Lamy’s Vista fountain pen in clear. (I like that you can see the ink as it disappears, and you’re not stuck with a dry pen unawares.) This pen is $30.00, and you can buy it in clear as shown, or red, blue, or yellow. I have the yellow one because it’s so darn cheerful.

You can buy little cartridges of ink refills, in all kinds of colors, for about $5.oo per box of 6.

And, if you REALLY don’t know if you like fountain pens or not, you can invest in this little guy: This is a Pelikan Junior, which all the little German school children use. It costs $10.95, and it also comes in blue, yellow, green or red. For the price you absolutely cannot beat it. It writes beautifully, and if you lose it who cares? It’s like the price of two Happy Meals. Or a gallon of gas.
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26 thoughts on “Journals Part 2: Fountain Pens”

  1. Do you have a permanent writer's bump on your middle finger from writing? I do and I've always loved pens. I liked your link, thanks. We don't really have a good pen store here in Santa Fe which is something I've really missed. Lots of places in NYC or other major cities to supply writers/readers.

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  2. I'm not so sure if there's a "writer's bump", but there sure is a callous! I played the piano for about fifteen years, on top of all this writing, and my fingers are none too beautiful: short nails, and all that. But, they do what I want at least (as opposed to my stomach muscles :). Santa Fe has such lovely stores, though…you all have Georgia O'Keefe and Navejo jewelry. Oh, be still my heart.

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  3. $350 for a pen? Good grief. I understand how lovely it is but that's a little out of my realm. I like the Lamy's and the Pelikan Junior. It reminds me of the one I once had. I wonder what happened to that pen?cj

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  4. CJ, I know, I know. It's kind of embarrassing that I laid that much money down. But, if you divide $350.00 by the seventeen years I've owned it that's only about $20.50 a year. What kind did you have?

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  5. $300 is not to bad at all. I recently saw several Collectible Fountain Pens for over $1000 at the FountainPenClub.com (see url). These fountain pens are among the most collectible pens.

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  6. Those are some very cool pens, I am very jealous! I must get around to getting a really fancy one at some point. On the previous post you asked about me keeping my journals organised. I don't really, they are kind of all over the place since we moved in September and hopefully I will sort them out soon. And no I don;t speak to either of them any more!

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  7. Thanks for the recommend on the Pelikan Junior. I've always wanted to try a fountain pen, but haven't wanted to spend much. Do you have any idea if this particular pen is widely available or if I'd be better off with the web site?

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  8. Rhinoa, I visited the fountain pen site (by clicking on the comment left above) and am amazed at the fancy selection they have…Wow! It makes the Mont Blanc look like a spit in the wind. I'd love to know more about whatever organizational system you decide upon. Like I said, my system of throwing them in a box in the basement seems less than desirable.Terri B, welcome! I've never seen a Pelikan Junior any where else. Of course, you could Google it, and you might find some good places, but I'd just buy it from Paradise Pen if I were you. (Fountain Pen didn't have any. :(It's very inexpensive but VERY worth it. You won't believe how smoothly it writes, and how beautiful your writing will look. Be sure to buy some ink cartriges, too. I like blue. Did you know that a legal document is supposed to be signed in blue ink because that can't be photocopied?

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  9. I never used a fountai pen before. No wait I was 10 and used my mother's. It is a very hard tool to use. You have to hold it in a special and the ink can spill. So many rules and so much money, but well it looks cool and makes you seem more writer. If that can be a term. Hah!

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  10. Daydream, not any more! Especially with the Pelian Junior. There are little grooves in which to place your fingers, and the ink never blobs out in any of the pens I've used. It's a very smooth feel, you should try it again writer that you are.

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  11. You said:short nails, and all that. But, they do what I want at least (as opposed to my stomach muscles :).Santa Fe has such lovely stores, though…you all have Georgia O'Keefe and Navejo jewelry. Oh, be still my heart.I, too, have short nails. It's far too difficult to have nice nails while working in a bookstore (or gardening, for that matter!).I have never been to Santa Fe, but it's high on my list of places to visit before I die. Might be a fun "girls' getaway," don't you think? Probably a bit more feasible than Italy!I have a lovely green and black Waterman's fountain pen that my hubby gave me years ago. I love it, but unfortunately, I let the nib (?) dry out and so it sits for several months until I finally run some warm water through it and replace the ink cartridge. It's not that difficult, but for some reason, it seems to fall into the category of one-of-these-days on my To Do list.

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  12. Probably because you're a better gardener!Santa Fe would be much more feasible than Italy. I haven't been since the late 1960's, and I'd love to see it again. The Southwest is so soothing to me.Plus, short nails? The only way to prove you know how to live, not sit. 🙂

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  13. Oh, then someday I must get mine to become so much writer-like. Yup! Hah, oh this reminds me again that my journal is almost finished and I must buy a new one. Oh, the horror.

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  14. Don't know what happened, I left a long comment here the other day and it obviously didn't show up.Anyway, in it I thanked you for posting this just for me…it was just for me, right? ;)Love the more inexpensive pen choices and I'll be looking for these locally and then ordering if I cannot find them. Thanks.I love those strips in Peanuts where Charlie Brown attempts to write to his Pen Pal and keeps getting ink everywhere. Fountain pens always remind me of that.

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  15. Or, Tom Sawyer's ink experience when he puts Becky's braid in the inkwell. My father remembers the ink splotches, and wells, from his school days. When I went to school, there were just the round holes in the desk's corner where the ink bottle used to sit. Now we don't even have real wood desk tops. Everything's plastic and disposable and it makes me sad. Who's Bic is as wonderful as a Pelikan?

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  16. Laxmi Karumbu, the only place I've seen them is at the store called Paradise Pen which I linked to in the post. If you click on those words, it will take you to the online store where you can buy pens and ink cartridges to your heart's content.Also, if you'll look in my post on the journals (under the Clairefontaine ones at the end) you'll see a link to a site called Writer's Bloc. They also carry pens and refills, but I haven't seen the Pelikano there only the Lamy, etc.

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  17. I really enjoyed these 2 posts and I'm a bit envious of your Mont Blanc pen. I have a couple of Waterman fountain pens that I haven't used in ages but you've inspired me to get them out! When I did my year as an exchange student in France (many years ago!!) I had my first fountain pen, an inexpensive one, because that was what you HAD to write with in class. And that's what originally got me into using a fountain pen which I did for a while after that. They do write so nicely. Those Europeans really know how to make pens and paper! :)Carl's journal post and now yours is actually quite timely. Recently my husband has got into writing in a journal again, after using a Palm Pilot for several years, and he's loving it. So that inspired me to finally buy a Moleskine (I keep fondling them every time I see them in a stationery store) to start my own journal. So now I'm all set with my Moleskine and my Waterman! 😛

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  18. Tanabata, Moleskine's are great! Did you get the big one, or little one, the grid or lined? They are so much better than a Palm Pilot/techno thing to me, because you can smell them, and feel them, and keep them for memories. Who puts a bunch of emails in a cedar box for safe keeping? I'll be thinking of you with your journal and Waterman as I write in mine with my Mont Blanc.By the way, CJ said she was up for a Japanese literature challenge again. How about you?

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  19. My father has always loved and collected fountain pens- especially antique ones. I love the way they write and respond to the hand. I don't love the way they spill ink on the page suddenly, sometimes.

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  20. I got the little one with the newer soft cover. It's so flexible, I love it. I wavered but ended up going with the lined one this time but was really tempted by the grids. Maybe the next one.. :)I'm always up for another Japanese Literature challenge since it's a long-term project of mine anyway. Just say when and I'll be there!

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  21. Jeane, the other thing I don't like is when the ink bleeds on the cheap paper we have here in American notebooks. But, if you have a good pen, and thicker paper, it's a great way to go. I'd love to see a collection of antique pens; I love the way beautiful handwriting looks when written in a fine nib, and I love the different colors of ink you can buy. Thanks for visiting!Tanabata, I'm glad to hear you're up for another Japanese lit challenge. I just bought the new Harukami (I believe) about the city at night time. I think I saw that you're reading it too. Sorry I forgot the exact title, but that would be a good one to start a new challenge with. I'm just concerned that people are overcommitted with so many challenges out there right now.

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  22. After Dark? I bought that one recently too. Right now I'm reading Kafka on the Shore and enjoying it so far. There are a lot of challenges starting and going on right now. I guess you could always wait a bit. Or you could do a poll to gauge interest for now or later???

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