one pen, one book #1
A breeze brings the salty smell of the sea and the soft sound of lapping ripples on concrete. The sun is shining, almost blinding, but giving a warmth to your skin. Seagulls scream in the distance. Some construction work continues. Cars pass nearby. People chatter. A ship’s horn blares, louder than the seagulls. Your back is to the engulfing sounds of the cityscape, your unwavering gaze on the sea. There are islands on the horizon. The bench you’re sitting on is cold, a little splintery. Salt has eaten through the lacquer long time ago. A stranger sits on the opposite end of it. You don’t see him. You only see the sea, the seagulls and the passing ships as I start my story.
I have been thinking about how to merge two of my favourite things together: pens and books. When I finish a book, I write it down in a couple of sentences with a pen. It’s a notebook with very bad paper, sadly, but I still like to match up an ink and a pen to the book. I sometimes ink up a pen to get the feeling right, or use one of the already inked ones.
The first book I’ve read this year was “Piranesi” by Susanna Clarke. This is also the first year that I signed up at the local library. Unfortunately most of their titles are not to my tastes, but I look at them every time to see if I can find something. I had already taken two books out during my exam week, one of them being “Piranesi”. Its return date was approaching fast, and I did what any sane person would do in that situation: reading.
I have one comfortable couch, and many mugs from many places. Mostly from second hand shops, some chipped and some covered in coffee stains. Long nights of studying and even longer nights of reading ask for such companions. They are everywhere, serving various duties. When I look around I can see;
One small mug used as a pencil cup,
One larger white mug used as a pen cup,
Two cups half filled with coffee, one is from last night (long gone cold),
One is full of cold mint tea -I don’t even remember when I made it,
One half full of pencil shavings -slightly wet from possibly coffee underneath,
Three with plants in them -stuck in water to wait for roots,
And, lastly, one filled with rumpled and ripped paper from failed tasks.
Surrounded by mugs, quiet blanket of night, and the heft of unfinished schoolwork, I buried myself in my book. It’s a gigantic, heavy hardcover, built to last thousands of page turns and many readings. The world swallowed me pretty easily. I grew up in the shadows of ancient columns under the blistering sun in the summer, in front of carefully excavated statues, around halls that are two millennia old, memorising the twelve tasks of Hercules. The setting of the book was very dear to my heart as it reminded me of those days. It gave me a calm, serene feeling with its water pools, endless windows, marble statues and regular floods. Perhaps that’s why I was so disturbed by the events of the book, such place should’ve never been the setting of those malicious events. That’s the genius of the writer.
In the beginning, the character seemed to be enjoying his life in a way I strive to as well, finding peace and joy in everyday tasks. Making each day have its purpose, however small. I am all for romanticising ordinary lives, the ones who don’t fight, aren’t the chosen ones. The beginning was my favourite part of the novel.
“Not everything about the Wind was bad. Sometimes it blew through the little voids and crevices of the Statues and caused them to sing and whistle in surprising ways; I have never known the Statues to have voices before and it made me laugh for sheer delight.”
I’m trying to avoid spoilers, so I won’t talk about its unfolding too much. Overall I was captivated by the book, and finished in exactly twenty four hours. For the pen and ink, I was reminded of Robert Oster’s Summer Storm. The dusty purple seemed perfect to capture the atmosphere, but then I had a change of heart. My pairing for this book was a TWSBI Eco in Yellow with Noodler’s Dragon’s Napalm. A bright, almost fluorescent orange ink and a sunshine yellow pen. I think it’s because of the sunsets and sunrises, the setting feels like one. A calm feeling, but also in between worlds. Most importantly, this pairing makes me smile. The book did too.
I’m having a bit of a hard time finishing up the fill of ink, as my daily use scenario doesn’t ask for such a bright colour. But every time I pick it up, I remember the book and it is enough to keep me using it every now and then.
I hope to make a ongoing series about the books I've read and which pens and inks I themed around them. I'll probably update as I read more books, but not very often. Thank you for reading!