Adventures in Stationery - Stories from Your Pencil Case
We are surrounded by stationery: half-chewed Cristal Bics and bent paper clips, rubber bands to fiddle with or ping, blunt pencils, rubbers and Tipp-ex. They are integral parts of our everyday environment. So much so that we have no idea of the stories they have to tell. But James Ward is here to explain how important stationery is to us. After all, who remains unmoved by the sight of the first sheet of a brand new notepad? And which of humanity's brightest ideas didn't start life on a scrap of paper, a Post-it, or in the margins of a notebook? Exploring these everyday objects, Ward reveals tales of invention - accidental and brilliant - and bitter rivalry. He also asks the difficult questions, who is Mr Pritt? What does shatter-proof resistant mean? How many pens does Argos use? And what do design evolutions in desk organisers mean for society? Perhaps most importantly, it's time to ask Blu-Tack: what are the 1000s of uses they claim?Combining telling details, peculiar facts, a love of humour, hubris and brimming with curious stories, this book will change the way you look at your desk forever.
"'In their own way, the people who invented the paperclip, the drawing pin and the highlighter changed the world, and yet we've rewarded them by forgetting their names and overlooking the contributions they've made to modern life. Why aren't these people household names? Where are the statues built in their honour? Why don't they appear on our banknotes and postage stamps?' (James Ward)"
James Ward's London-based blog, I Like Boring Things, has featured in the Independent, Observer and on the BBC website. He is co-founder of Stationery Club and the Boring Conference, featured in the Wall Street Journal and on Radio 4. This is his first book.