Bookbinders – a Stationery Addict’s Dream

Bookbinders is Brisbane’s own fabulous little stationery shop, and it’s not too far from where I work. Last week, I stopped by to check it out. Owners Leanne, Roger and Michael took me for a tour and answered all my questions. When Leanne used the word ‘toothy‘ to describe paper, my heart knew it was among friends.

Bookbinders stationery shop is sure to warm the hearts of all true pen and paper lovers. The owners are the real deal — Roger and Michael are both bookbinders by trade. They stock a huge range of premium products, from Midori Traveler notebooks and accessories to Pilot Prestige pens.

For stationery addicts outside of southeast Queensland, check out Bookbinders’ online store, but Brisbanites should definitely visit. While you’re there, check out Bookbinder’s charmingly old-world Kingsley Hot Stamping Machine (shown right) for monogramming notebooks.

Paper – Canvas of Dreams

My resolve not to buy another notebook crumbled when I saw the Field Notes steno book. It’s a handy size to carry around, and its sturdy cover will stand up even to handbag punishment. The spiral binder is at the top, comfortably out of the way no matter which side of the page you write on. The ivory paper is lined and divided into two columns with an attractive but unobtrusive shade of tan.

Bookbinders also carry paper products — toothy and otherwise — by Apica, Fabio Ricci, Hugo Boss, Midori Traveler, Tomoe River, and their own brand.

Fountain Pens – Swanky Word Swords

They cater to every pen budget, with a range that spans from the economical, everyday-carry type to the swoon-worthy, high-end fountain pens.

At AU$9.90, Pilot Preppy fountain pens are a good everyday carry solution. A Preppy is cheap enough that you won’t worry about losing or dropping it. I’d heard that fine nibs made in Asia are finer than European fine nibs, but it’s crazy how much finer. The 0.3 will be perfect for my planner, where I prefer tiny writing in a crisp line to keep everything neat. My next Preppy will be a 0.5 medium as the 0.3 is a little too scratchy (and not juicy enough) for my taste and writing speed.

Ink – Writers’ Elixir

Some stationery shops tuck the ink bottles and samples in a tantalising display behind the counter, out of reach. Not so at Bookbinders. They let customers handle the ink. If you’ve longed to experience the entire scintillating  range of Iroshizuku inks, stop by for a play at their display desk.

Especially cool is Bookbinders’ own brand, Snake Ink. It comes in nifty packaging — a tiny burlap bag like a snake catcher uses. Each shade is named after a species of snake.

I admit it — I was a sucker for their motto:

SNAKE INK: Cures Writers’ Block

Yes, thank you. I’ll take three. I demonstrated some restraint and bought only one colour, a gorgeous grey shade called Ground Rattler. It has a lovely pencil look to it.

I love the branding!

The Ink Miser kit consists of a shot glass and pipette (new word for me. I had to ask Michael to spell it for me. It’s a dropper with a long, flexible tube). The kit makes refilling fountain pens easier and tidier, and it prevents wastage.

*Sigh* Ink … It’s almost magical. It makes me want to write and write and write. Check out my Pinterest board, Writers’ Elixir, which features dreamy inks and writing implements.

Stationery – Necessities, of course!

I couldn’t resist the Maste washi tape with the tumbling pandas. Nor could I say no to the Midori pug-shaped brass paperclips. Swoon!

But the coolest discovery was the mini Midori tape measure. Smaller than one inch square, it’s the perfect size to tuck into a wallet.

Desk-cessories – aka Mind Declutterers

My favourite find was the Landscape Desk Organiser, a clever metal box with lids that come in a variety of ‘terrains’ or surfaces. I picked the business card holder style. It’s currently my glasses and pen perch. I have the annoying habit of leaving my reading glasses in silly spots and even losing them on my desk under papers and notebooks. So far the Landscape organiser is helping. Inside I’ve stashed frequently used items, like paperclips, rubber bands and lip balm. These are currently (at time of posting) on sale for a fantastic discount, so get in quick!

The Verdict

I plan to go back and pick the brains of the owners. I’d love to learn more about their monogramming machine and find out what makes bookbinders tick. I have lots more to learn and share about ink too, so watch this space!

Over to You

Do you have a favourite pen, ink or notebook? Does ink inspire you? Do you like traditional colours (blue-black), fun colours (crimson) or earthy (chestnut). Guess which I prefer!

Photo Credits

With the exception of the top photo, all images come from Bookbinders.com.au with the permission of the owners.

The photographer is Millyjane

Gorgeous Gifts for Writers & Readers: Handmade Journals

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Need a gift for your favourite word-nerd? In this series, we’ll explore some clever and quirky ideas. Today I want to show you the perfect present for the writer in your life, a handmade journal.

The Gift of Paper

According to tradition, the most suitable gift to celebrate a first anniversary is paper. Seriously? To my younger self, paper seemed paltry– a big step down from the diamond ring that sealed the deal twelve months earlier!

My appreciation of paper has come with maturity and writerly aspirations. There’s a lovely sentiment that comes with the gift of paper. It says, “Your writing is important, worthy of good materials.” Paper, especially letter paper, indicates a desire to stay in contact.  It’s actually a thoughtful gift from a friend and a terribly romantic gift from a lover.

photo 3Yesterday, an artistic friend thanked me with a handmade journal. I was so touched when I opened it to find the recycled materials reflect my interests as a children’s writer. The cover and spine were salvaged from an old book, and the hand-sewn pages are interspersed with envelopes, quaint illustrations from vintage kids’ books, and novelty fabric offcuts. It’s an amazing piece of art and a treasured gift.photo (7)

 

 

Sourcing Handmade Journals

How do you get your hands on these lovely creations? First, know that they come under lots of names: smash books, junk journals, handmade notebooks…

Etsy has a lovely selection, including:

(If you’d like a journal like the one in the pictures here, leave a comment and I’ll email you some details.)

How to Make Your Own

According to my friend, junk journals are heaps of fun to make. Check out this great tutorial on notebook making. Pinterest has about a gazillion images to inspire you.

Whether you create your own quirky junk journal or purchase one from an artist, a handmade notebook is a perfectly gorgeous gift for your favourite writer.

Paper Lovers Anonymous

Got “a thing” for paper like me? Bit of a paper problem?? Get a Paper fix on my Pinterest Board.