Pukka Up: why are we obsessed with stationery?

I have a confession to make. I’m addicted to stationery. Not to regular old Pukka pads, but to pretty diaries, notebooks with quality paper, novelty sticky notes and highlighters in every colour. One of the best things about being a student is that it completely justifies me giving way to said addiction. And I’m not alone – I know plenty of people with the same passion for all things stationery.

This is how you know if you’ve got the same addiction: The smell of fresh paper puts a goofy smile on your face. You’re obsessed with writing lists. You find yourself losing track of time as you browse through aisles of notebooks and calendars. You have a slight panic attack when someone wants to borrow your favourite pen. You can’t buy a notebook without first thoroughly examining the quality of the paper and the distance between the lines. You have an ever-growing pile of unused notebooks, all meant for a special purpose that will probably never appear, and putting that first pen stroke in a new shiny notebook is seriously nerve-wrecking.  Yeah, you get the gist. There’s even a World Stationary Day – April 29th, if you’re interested. The question is where this love comes from.

We live in a time where increasingly, everything is digitised. We have calendars on our iPhones, we bring laptops into lectures for note-taking, and so on. Nonetheless, the popularity of stationery doesn’t seem to be declining. In fact, stationery heaven Paperchase has seen sales grown continually over the last few years. Perhaps it’s a reaction against the digital world, or maybe it’s just another manifestation of materialism and human obsession with stuff. When notebooks and pens are no longer a mere necessity, you can choose something a bit more special, something different for each occasion. Whatever the reason behind it, I’m going to continue nursing my stationery addiction for as long as I can.

[Mimmi Rönning]

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