In late July/early August, I traveled to Long Beach, California for a conference of science stockroom managers. We stayed aboard the Queen Mary, a very cool venue. Whenever I travel, the urge to pick up souvenirs hits me hard. But really, do I need another t-shirt? The dresser drawers that I just sorted and purged would say “no.”
You could also argue that I am not wanting for pencils either, but lately they’re my souvenir of choice. Easy to store, cheap, and usable—what’s not to love about a pencil? And so far, I don’t have drawers full of them, though I suppose that remains a possibility.
The ship’s gift shop carried some “Queen Mary” nautically themed pencils (the bottom four in the above photo) for $0.69 a pop, so those are the first ones I picked up on this trip. A good start.
Later in the week, we visited the Getty Villa in Malibu. A friend and I toured the gardens and galleries, then made a beeline for the gift shop. My pencil quest continued!
Oooooo…quite the score there! I walked away with three matte black “motto” pencils, a very cool woodless pencil, as well as a Getty branded eraser, all for under $10.
The black ferrules and erasers make these particularly appealing. Haven’t written with them yet, but let’s face it, I bought these for looks. And the sayings.
The woodless pencil cost a mere $2.50, lays down a smooth HB(ish) line, and has excellent point retention. It’s hefty and smooth feeling in hand, really unusual as far as pencils go. I was kicking myself for not picking up a few more, but a little research led me to believe that they’re branded Koh-I-Nor woodless pencils, available on Amazon for a price that’s considerably less than airfare to Malibu.
That looks cool, right?
I also picked up an orange pencil at the Getty because…well…ORANGE. Once home, I discovered that the pencil does a trick. When you hold it in your hand, it does this…
Meanwhile, back at the hotel gift shop there were more stationery treasures to be coveted. And purchased.
Stationery souvenirs are inexpensive, functional, easy to pack, AND if you use them (as you should!), eventually they go away. For the price of yet another t-shirt, you can bring home a nice bag of loot for your home and office.
Seize the day. And the stationery.