How Many Techos Does It Take to Get Through a Year?

Not sands through the hourglass, or licks to the center of a Tootsie Pop, but pages in some expensive little books?

I ask this rhetorically, but of course you can admit your journal addiction too. Please, come in and have a seat. You are welcome here. Can I get you a warm beverage? A generous pour of bourbon?

That’s the spirit! While you were sipping, I took a moment to retrieve my Techo from its hallowed place on my vintage 1980s writing table. See me cradling it in my arms? Hear me whispering sweet words to it in babynese? (“Who’s a good little notebook? You are! Look at your cute widdle bear face!”)

Ahem. My apologies. You see, this is very hard for me, but I have to admit that I… that I… am… a… Hobonichi stan.

I admit it! It’s the cutesy websites. The oddly quirky English. The fact that I secretly dream of having a pretty Techo like these ones, even though I can’t draw worth a damn.

IT’S THAT SWEET, SWEET TOMOE RIVER PAPER. (And the nibs sing, “Glidin’, glidin’, glidin’ on the river…”)

This Hobonichi trio’s going to see me through 2018.

  1. The Hobonichi 5-Year Techo. I wrote a lot about this one recently.
  2. The Hobonichi Steiff Edition Planner. I wrote a lot about last year’s edition, and my opinion hasn’t changed — it’s just aged like a fine wine.
  3. The Hobonichi Techo Weeks. I started using this planner in December strictly for work stuff. I’ll write about it once the honeymoon phase is over.

Let me tell you, Hobonichi’s a helluva drug. Back in 2016 when I was fully digital, I never used paper. Never. Now look at me: an ink-stained wretch, surrounded by the wrinkled sheets of some expensive little books.


The Year In Economical Penstering

Yes, I just used “penster” as a verb.

I also just misread my own headline as “Economical Pestering” — which might be a perfect alternative description for this blog. Indeed, I wrote a great number of words about inexpensive pens this year, and a surprising number of you stopped by to read them. Pestering works!

You Read These Posts The Most

  1. When Your Grail Pen Is F**king Expensive
  2. Six Months with a Hobonichi Techo
  3. Maybe the Jinhao 992 Ain’t All It’s Cracked up to Be
  4. Snap Judgments: Nock Co Seed A6 Case
  5. The Kaweco Sport Puts a Workhorse In Your Pocket

Perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised that the most popular post I wrote this year was about expensive pens.

This Pen Deserves to Boast

The Wing Sung 618 is my Economical Pen of the Year. No other pens came close. I waxed rhapsodic about it right here.

This Pen Deserved More of a Roast

Every time I see a Jinhao 992 I let out one of those big, long sighs that starts deep within the Disappointment Plexus, travels up past the Hopeful Heart, and out the Opinion-Emitting Sound Hole. The 992 is a lovely nib trapped in bad plastic. Jinhao ought to source better plastic and charge twice as much — the result would still be a great deal.

My Thanks to This Gracious Host

Most of you found this site via a link on Ana Reinert’s most excellent blog The Well-Appointed Desk. Of course, this titan of the stationery blogosphere does not need a link from my humble demesne, but she’s getting one anyway, along with my thanks.

Also: a bunch of you have been flipping my posts to your Flipboard magazines. I haven’t been able to figure out who’s been flipping what, so thank you to all of you, whomever you are.

They’re Always Good For a Witty Riposte

A quick shoutout to Laura at Fountain Pen Follies for consistently making me snort my morning coffee all over my keyboard this year. I’ll be sending you my AppleCare and dry cleaning bills tomorrow.

Another shoutout to Fangs and Clause for being crankier and funnier than the million other writing blogs I follow. You will not regret clicking that link, looking on the sidebar, and reading everything listed under “How Do I…?”

A final shoutout to the 201 fountain pen and stationery blogs I follow. Thank you for all your posts. I expect even more from you next year. (Encouragement: it’s what I’m good at.)

So Let’s Have a Toast

To all fountain pens regardless of cost, as every pen is priceless in someone’s eyes. To fine paper, notebooks, and ink. To pen friends near and far. To words in all their power, and the struggle of writing. At least we’ll be doing it in style.