A technophile lawyer rediscovers the joys of pen and paper
Thursday, February 25, 2010
No, not the San Francisco Flax. The Los Angeles Flax. I'd heard about the place years ago in radio ads, but never visited because it is only recently that I've caught the notebook and pen bug.
So, anyway, I was in L.A. this morning for a court appearance, and decided to hit Flax on my way out of town. Well, a little out of my way, actually, but . . . well, the lure was strong, and I wasn't sure when I'd next be in the vicinity.
The store has the sort of trendy look that trendy shops do in trendy parts of trendy cities around the world. And I'm anything but trendy. But I didn't feel out of my element at all.
The store was terrific, and the woman who helped me was was very attentive. I could have spent hours browsing around in there. But I had to get back to the office and could only take about a half hour, so the stop was bit of a tease.
The notebook selection was pretty extensive. Between browsing the notebooks and browsing the inks, I never even got around to looking at the pens. Next time.
The trip was not without its disappointments, but they weren't disappointments with the store.
Disappointment No. 1: The Rhodia Webnotebook.
What? Who could be disappointed in the Rhodia Webnotebook? The sumptuous cover! The 90 gsm Clairefontaine paper! Who on earth could be disappointed with that?
The cover was indeed sumptuous. The paper felt like velvet. (I'm still dying to try writing on it.) But it was . . . small. I know, I know. You're saying "Booker, the dimensions are right there on the website." And so they are. But I was hoping the hard cover would make it feel bigger somehow. I'm still a little stunned that after lusting after one for the last several weeks, I walked away without buying it, especially since that was the main reason I stopped by.
Maybe the build-up was just too good for the webbie to live up to. Then again, that build up has also tweaked my curiosity to the point that I don't think it will ever go away. I'm sure I'll succumb and buy one eventually.
Disappointment No. 2: No French-ruled notebooks.
I got my hopes up when I saw all the Clairefontaine notebooks on the wall, but Flax doesn't carry any that are French-ruled. I can understand why, since there seems to be very little demand. I was looking forward to picking up a French-ruled notebook, though, because I've read that the French ruling is supposed to help train your handwriting. And I figure if I'm going to be using more handwriting, I ought to work on making it neater. (It could stand some improvement, as you'll see in upcoming reviews.) I'll pick one up off of eBay this week.
Still, I didn't walk away empty handed. I bought a bottle of Sailor black fountain pen ink. My first ever bottle of fountain pen ink. That was really thrilling, though that seems a little weird to say. (And, perhaps needless to say, armed with my first bottle of ink, the first thing I did when I got back to the office was install the converter in my Lamy Safari and fill that sucker!)
I'll definitely be going back. It's a very nice shop, and it's guaranteed to stay on my mind . . . since I signed up for their email list.