What Everyone Hates About Fountain Pens

Yeah, I like fountain pens and ink, but let’s be honest. not everything about them is good. There are plenty of things we all secretly dislike about fountain pens.

1. Cleaning them out. Tedious and time-consuming. You don’t have to do this with pencils, ballpoints, rollerballs or any other writing instrument. Even the quill just needed the occasional trim before you plucked a new one.

2. Ink stains. I don’t care how careful you are: if you are a regular fountain pen user, you’ll end up with ink on your fingers. Usually right before a party, date or job interview. That’s if you’re lucky. If you’re unlucky, you’ll end up with ink stains on your favorite shirt, or your kitchen floor. The newer you are to pens, the more it happens, but it happens to everyone.

3. Not the best carry-around option. I’m not even talking about going on an airplane, with changes in air pressure to contend with. I’m talking about regular commuting. Sure, if you can control your environment enough to always keep your fountain pen nib-up and protected from jostling, that helps. But most of us will eventually pull off a cap to start writing, only to find ink has leaked. Or we’ll lose a pen, and it won’t be a 50 cent Bic but a Lamy Safari in discontinued color. Or we’ll drop a Montblanc, nib down.

4. There’s always another one to buy. Only determined minimalists keep it to a handful. For the vast majority of us, it’s easier to add than subtract, and there are always tempting new pen releases to make us wish for more.

5. Not the coolest hobby. Let’s face it. If your hobby is “playing guitar,” and you “play in a bar band on the weekends,” you are way cooler than me, whose hobby is “fountain pens and inks” and who “loves to get together with pen fans on the weekends.” Unless your band plays Renaissance music in period costume, in which case I’m totally bullying you. Kidding. I’d know you get me.

8 thoughts on “What Everyone Hates About Fountain Pens

  1. Item 2. is worse with long fingernails as I discovered when I grew them. It goes under and only repeated washings will shift it, pumice stones etc won’t work. Slobtastic. Have obsessively rebrushed hair and straightened clothes & generally groomed to excess (makes me sound like a monkey) etc *just* to compensate for ink-under-nails 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wait a minute. I play in a band that occasionally does bar gigs AND I am a fountain pen collector/stationery geek. Have done both for years. The latter must dominate; I am reasonably un-cool.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Very true. Why, only last month I ruined a new white shirt after deciding to refill a pen with Sailor Kiwa-guro. To be fair it wasn’t the pen’s fault but the bottle’s. The lid unscrewed leaving the cardboard disk stuck to the rim of the bottle. I lifted it off and….phpht….ink splats leapt out and onto my shirt. One downside of permanent inks.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I have an, er, acquaintance who keeps poisonous spiders. We have a kind of on-going debate as to which past-time is the more socially-challenged. I usually bring up the scenario of club meets, where fountain pen enthusiasts can meet in a nice, warm bar, with food and friendship. Whereas collectors of venomous spiders will probably be in a room of one, as far from well-balanced civilization as is humanly possibly to put them.

    Liked by 2 people

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