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
Vermillion Livework Pen
Bought entirely because I like the colour scheme. Amazingly, given the selection, this was the only pen I purchased from Modulor.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Grain de Pollen Self Sealing Envelopes
Purchased from Grüne Papeterie because I liked the colour. And the name, “watermelon.” EUR 1,80.
Tiny versions — jewellry-holding size — of the same BUNTBOX I purchased in Halifax last month. Purchased from Modulor. EUR 1 each.
Purchased and customized at a MUJI store in London. Part of the same diarizing effort explained here. 1 pound (customization free).
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.