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Adventures in Stationery
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New or Used: 2 copies from $48.05
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 are integral parts of our everyday environment. So much so that we never think about where they come from, why they are the way they are - or what stories they might have to tell. But luckily, James Ward does and he's here to tell you all about the secret pull stationery exerts on our lives. After all, who remains unmoved by the sight of a pristine blu-tak slab, or the first unmarked 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 the stories behind these everyday objects, Ward reveals tales of invention - accidental and brilliant - and bitter rivalry. He also asks the questions you never thought you had: Who is Mr Pritt? What does shatter-proof resistant mean? How many pens does Argos use? And what does design evolutions in desk organisers mean for society? This witty and entertaining book, packed with fascinating facts, will change the way you look at your desk, pencil case or stationery cupboard forever.
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Promotional Information

From Bronze Age India to a Surrey Stationers via pencil wars and accidental inventions: a hilarious insight into the familiar yet unexpectedly bizarre world of stationery.

About the Author

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.

Reviews

Few of us pause over the etymology of "foolscap" or that "symbol of equality and harmony", the HB pencil. James Ward does: "It's only a slight exaggeration to say that the history of stationery is the history of human civilisation." In Adventures in Stationery, he looks at the pioneers - Mr Biro, for example, and the forgotten genius who invented the perfect paper clip. He plots the rise of the Post-it note, ponders the mysteries of "shatterproof" rulers and notes, poignantly: "The sharpener literally gives the pencil its point in life, but kills it at the same time." Ward writes with a blend of wit, unhealthy obsession and pure love. Here is high-class pornography for the stationery enthusiast. -- Alexander Gilmour * FT * Step into a fantastical Narnia of office and personal materials. James Ward investigates the drama of the desk tidy . . . questions you never thought to ask when chewing your Bic are answered smartly in black ink on white paper in geeky detail -- Iain Finlayson * Times *

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