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I can’t deny I love stationery. That’s why I started The Paperdashery. For me (and I suspect for you too), stationery evokes an emotional response. It’s something we can’t control.
Social psychologist Elle Boag agrees: “There is something about a new pen, notebook etc that makes many adults quite emotional. The smell and cleanness of a fresh notebook makes us feel that, within this book, anything can be achieved. We could write lists, letters to loved ones, write our memories or have our children draw us pictures which we can keep forever. The sense of potential can be quite a draw.”
So why exactly do we love stationery? I believe there are 5 reasons that apply to us all…
1. New stationery represents a fresh start
A beautiful new notebook, pencil case or fancy pen can give us that back-to-school feeling. New stationery gives a sense of new beginnings, hope and infinite potential.
Creator of beautiful happy mail, Ana @ephemeris32 on Instagram writes: “For me, what is exciting is the possibilities, there is so much life in paper”
Professional blogger, Jen from The Mad House says: “I am fuelled by tea and stationery… I also have a love of notebooks and planners. There is something so enticing about a new notebook. A blank page to be filled with dreams, aspirations and plans. it is safe place where my ideas are welcomed and encouraged!”
With these powerfully positive and motivating associations, is it any wonder we can’t resist a new notebook?
2. It provides an alternative to digital communication
We are constantly connected in the modern world. We can instantly, digitally contact almost anyone. Note cards and writing paper allow us a real, tangible, tactile and old school alternative.
Stationery gives us a sense of nostalgia. It allows us to send and receive messages and news in a more meaningful way than a text or email. We love to buy beautiful new stationery because we can then send (and receive) it. Once we add our own stories to the paper, it makes it even more special.
Self-confessed stationery and snail mail addict, Sharon @humbugshouse on Instagram writes: “I love pens, pretty paper… cards and anything that sparkles! To know a piece of happy mail is full of ‘pretties’ and will make a friend smile on opening makes me even happier!”
3. Stationery puts power & control into your hands – literally!
When we receive a text, there is often a feeling that we should respond right away. The alert noise and screen message give a sense of immediacy and urgency. With a letter, you can take your time, savour the message and respond at your convenience.
Likewise, with a paper planner. Rather than a digital diary with reminders and alerts, you are setting out your own thoughts, tasks and goals in your own handwriting and at your own pace.
Comparing digital diaries to paper planners, writer Bertel King Jr points out: “We all live and think differently. Pen and paper provide you with the freedom to create a system that works for you. Write down only the details you need to know, and don’t bother even thinking about the extra information that you already have in your head — you get your car fixed at the same shop every time, why are you still entering in the location?” And: “Physical calendars… don’t put a strain on your eyes, they don’t run out of battery life, and they don’t come out with an upgrade every few months.”
We couldn’t agree more!
4. We believe it will make us more organised & creative…
…and it just might!
Lucy Mangan certainly buys into this idea: “The right pen and the right paper brought into conjunction, runs the unspoken thought, cannot help but result in a sudden influx of bold, brilliant and original ideas, the germ of a bestselling novel that will in its turn be inscribed in another, perhaps larger notebook more worthy of the task, in sentences as creamy and beautiful as the pages on which they are written.”
I know I am far more likely to practice my brush lettering if I have a beautiful new notebook to write in. And I would never keep track of my to-do list without my trusty bullet journal. So perhaps having the right stationery really does help encourage us to be more creative and organised.
5. Stationery is a way to express our true selves
One of the reasons we love stationery so much is that it is an easy, affordable way to express our style and personality. Through our choice of colours, fonts, patterns and images, we can express a mood, emotion or sense of self inside an envelope.
My very good friend and penpal Claire writes: “I love getting little pieces of happiness through the post in the form of letters/postcards etc. When I find writing paper or cards that really feel like me, I love sending them as it feels like sharing something extra along with my thoughts on paper and sometimes I keep them for myself because I love them!”
Do you have an emotional response to stationery?
What is it that YOU love about it?