A Dozen Years.


On this day, in 2005, your humble Editor was a graduate student studying for my preliminary exams so that I could pass on to PhD candidacy and start proposing my dissertation topic. To keep sane, I went through with something I’d been thinking about for a year, ever since picking up a pack of American Naturals and falling in love with pencils while reading Hemingway.


It all started with this pencil in 2004 and this post in 2005.

These days, a lot of my Stationery Time is spent on The Erasable Podcast, which I am lucky enough to co-host with two wonderful Comrades: Andy and Tim. Even more time is spent on the community we’ve seen build itself out of this little show, to which all Comrades are cordially invited here.

A lot has changed since 2005. Blackwings exist again, and we even get four new models every year. This is not the only pencil blog — something that makes me very happy, since so many of them are sooooooo good. I became Dr. Dad to three adorable kids. Moleskines are still around and popular, and pocket notebooks are big business still. Hemingway and Thoreau are still in the national consciousness, even increasingly so. We still can read paper books, but you can read on your phone now too. There’s the Pollux and the Masterpiece to get your longpoints on the go. We are even lucky enough, in 2017, to live in a world that has a pencil store! Pencils aren’t going anywhere. While some US factories have closed, new markets and sources are open to us that we did not have in 2005. Members of the Erasable community trade globally, and my pencil box is half full of pencils which would not have been available to me even five years ago. The Pencil Love is spreading more all the time, though we still mourn the passing of USA-made Ticonderogas and Mirados. There are pencils from all over the world still left to be discovered, and the web makes this possible. It still strikes me as fantastically odd, that the digital aids the analog to such an extent.

No matter what happens, everything you wrote in pencil in 2005 hasn’t faded one little bit. Nor will it.

Pencil is Forever.

9 thoughts on “A Dozen Years.”

  1. Congratulations, Johnny, on your blogging boxed dozen! I remember the first time I ran across your blog; in 2007 or 2008. Before we ever met, I used to reference it as an example of how great the internet was; there’s a blog for any sort of niche passion — there’s even one about wooden pencils!

    I’m honored and happy to get the chance to chat with you every couple of weeks, and text and talk in the community even more!

    Here’s to another dozen years! (Though in 2029, will there still be blogs? Will there still be the internet? WILL THERE STILL BE PENCILS OHMIGOD TALK ME DOWN OFF THIS LEDGE.)

  2. Congratulations on such a significant anniversary. I admit that I only came across your blog a couple of years ago, but have referred back to it many times since then because it’s just such a good repository of pencil information. It has been a fantastic resource for me. Thanks so much for all of your work, and I look forward to more in the future.

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