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From the desk of…Stationery Addict
by: Clare James
As a kid, one of my greatest treats was to visit WHSmith in town. Way back in the days before tragedies like little Jamie Bulger being snatched, my Dad would leave me in WHS, under the watchful eye of the friendly security guard while Dad went off and stood in the endless queue in the nearby bank on a Saturday morning. The racks and rows of stationery supplies enchanted me – maybe an early symptom of the writing career I’d try to forge as a so-called grown up…

Even as I got older, I’d spend as much of my allowance on postcards, pens, notepaper and stickers as my girlfriends would on lipstick or nail varnish! My first paid job was a junior administrator; unsurprisingly I earned brownie points by staying late and meticulously organising the stationery cupboard, then maintaining near-perfect levels of products required! This led, eventually, to my being involved with the truly serious business of overseeing the layout and design of wonderful items like business cards, compliment slips and letterheads…

Adulthood has taken me far beyond the shelves of WHSmith (although I still can never pass them by without a quick jaunt around the stationery department!). The ongoing development of internet services such as Goodprint; mean my desk at home is as neatly stocked as the supply store in my workplace – with personalised return labels, correspondence cards, letterheads, postcards and a rainbow stack of post-it notes. I even have ‘personal’ business cards with my home details on – perfect for giving to strange men in loud bars at those times when I am to drunk to recall my name, much less my phone numbers!

I’m in the middle of moving house, so I get to indulge in a completely new set of personal correspondence provisions, in my eyes that task will certainly be the most interesting part of the grim process of moving.

I find my inexplicable stationery habit weirdly fulfilling, it’s harmless, relatively cheap and has none of the health risks (bar the odd paper cut) associated with some of my other vices (like loud bars and strange men!!). Some of my friends find it a little disturbing; nonetheless, the same friends have equally odd habits that I choose to politely ignore, so like a true buddy I only ask the same in return!

About the author:
Written for Goodprint Ltd, providors of instant online business cards and matching stationery via their website

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