Recent Acquistions

On my customs declaration yesterday on arrival in Halifax, submitted after landing from London, I declared $323 in purchases made overseas. I’m not a great acquirer of stuff while traveling, at least not of large stuff, as I travel fast and light and have very limited space to carry new things (on occasion I’ve resorted to shipping things home by post, mostly magazines, but this time I was more reserved). Here’s a catalogue of what I acquired.


I’m a sucker for new and interesting pens, and Modulor, MUJI and Grüne Papeterie in Berlin are excellent places to live out that passion.

MUJI Green Pen

MUJI is well stocked with inexpensive branding-free pens and notebooks. I acquired this green pen to use for writing diary entries.


Vermillion Livework Pen

Bought entirely because I like the colour scheme. Amazingly, given the selection, this was the only pen I purchased from Modulor.

Vermillion Pen

Pentel Tradio Pen

An interesting pen cum marker that I purchased from Grüne Papeterie because I like the way it feels in the hand, and the lines I’m able to draw.

Tradio Pen

Books and Magazines

Books and magazines are heavy, so I only buy ones that would be difficult or impossible to purchase elsewhere, sometimes snapping a photo of books I’ll buy online later.

Modern Printing, Section IV

Purchased at the St Bride Foundation Wayzgoose, this is a book from 1900 that is a good overview of many of the facets of running a job printing shop. I was particularly attracted to the section on rates of pay and union issues. 50 pence.

Modern Printing Section IV


I love libraries. This is a book of essays about libraries. Purchased from Do You Read Me?! EUR 15.



I love the design of this book of essays about hacking, one of a series. Purchased from Do You Read Me?! EUR 17,50.


The 24-Hour Wine Expert

An impulse purchase. I know nothing about wine. Perhaps this will change now? Purchased from Do You Read Me?! EUR 8.

The 24 Hour Wind Expert

The Happy Reader

My new favourite magazine, The Happy Reader is a joint project of Penguin Books and Fantastic Man. Each issue focuses on a theme and a person; I purchased three from Do You Read Me?! EUR 4,50 per issue.

The Happy Reader

Eddie’s Wheel Book

Purchased at the St Bride Foundation Wayzgoose, this is a book from The Alembic Press that was produced for their grandson Eddie’s first birthday in 2005 in a limited edition of 40 copies. It is delightful. 5 pounds.

Eddie's Wheel Book

A Little Drop of Water

Purchased at the St Bride Foundation Wayzgoose, this is another book from The Alembic Press, produced for their granddaughter Natalia’s second birthday. It too is delightful. 5 pounds.

A Little Drop of Water

Whirlers & Grainers

Purchased at the St Bride Foundation Wayzgoose, this is a book from Red Plate Press that was produced to “document the restoration and installation of a temporary letterpress print studio at The Shop in Nelson, Lancashire during 2015.” 5 pounds.

Whirlers & Grainers

Everything Else

Type Metal Squares

Purchased at the St Bride Foundation Wayzgoose from The Carpathian Press and Type Foundry, this plastic box of type high squares is exactly what I need to start experimenting with letterpress printing of QR codes. There are 126 pieces in all, meaning a grid of 11x11. Which may, in fact, not be enough to encode a reasonable amount of data; or any at all. Further research is needed. 15 pounds, including box and packing.

Squares from The Carpathian Type Foundry

A8 Index Cards

Index cards have proved in inexpensive and flexible medium for letterpress printing, and I like the small A8 size, which isn’t generally available in North America. Purchased from Modulor.

A8 Index Cards

Grain de Pollen Self Sealing Envelopes

Purchased from Grüne Papeterie because I liked the colour. And the name, “watermelon.” EUR 1,80.

Grain de Pollen Envelopes


Tiny versions — jewellry-holding size — of the same BUNTBOX I purchased in Halifax last month. Purchased from Modulor. EUR 1 each.

Orange and Yellow BUNTBOX

MUJI Notebook

Purchased and customized at a MUJI store in London. Part of the same diarizing effort explained here. 1 pound (customization free).

LON01 MUJI Notebook


Purchased from Grüne Papeterie, where I first came to know of these envelopes, recycled from topographic maps, 5 years ago when I was printing in Berlin (those of you who subscribed to “Mail me Something” may recognize these as I used them to mail out items). EUR 3,50.


PAPPERSBRUK Tear-off Door Hangers

Purchased from the Form/Design Centre in Malmö, these may be impractical for Canadian doors, most of which have round handles that are too big to accommodate them. But I love the form. 98 SEK.


Do You Read Me?! Bag

Once you cross a certain purchase threshold at Do You Read Me?! in Berlin, you get a cloth bag included with your purchase. I always seems to cross the threshold. Bags used to be only black-on-white, but now you have the option of that or, as I chose this time, white-on-black.

do you read me ?! bag


Paul's picture
Paul on May 17, 2016 - 12:22

Peter, just cut a slit in the side of those door hangars and you can use them here too! :-)

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