Loving Pencils

Jason Kottke on his love with pencils:

People love pencils. They love them. It’s partly childhood nostalgia, partly how a craftsman comes to care for her tools, and partly the tactile experience.

These days, I’m mostly scribbling with only a mechanical pencil. Finding the perfect pencil can be hard, and it’s entirely subjective. My previous mechanical pencil was from Muji, and it has served me well over the years. It took me a while before I stumble upon another one which I really like. This replacement, coincidentally, is also from Muji.

I believe most people are more comfortable typing than writing. But there is something special about writing. It is your handwriting. It is unique to you. On the occasion when I decide to write, more often than not I’ll reach for the pen. My hand written words came out audacious. But it doesn’t matter. All it matters is my handwritting is legible to myself.

My generation and those before me have a special bond with pen and pencil. When we were young, we were exposed to stationaries and pencil was the first writing tool I’m introduced to. It enables a world of possibilities with our sketches, which we proudly showed to our parent and siblings.

The current generation of children and definitely more proficient with the tablet and stylus than paper and pencil. Things changed and the world is never standing still. Nostalgia, though, remains a powerful drug that can light up the darkest of alley.