The traveling kit for this trip was different from the past, mainly because I had anticipated that I would be ambulating between hotel and convention center, as well as within convention center, I must make sure that the load was comfortable enough to carry out in my messenger bag. Given the main focus of this trip was the conference itself, I packed based on the assumption that I would not have much time playing with stationery in general, but I should have all the essentials for note-taking and possible calligraphy practice. Based on the above consideration, I had selected the following:
Yes, an old-fashioned planner despite the fact that ALA (American Library Association, the organization that hosted the conference) had an app for every platform. I used it to plot out obligatory events as well as the ones that attracted my attention.
- Midori Traveler's Notebook
I have attended several panels and anticipated some degree of note-taking. Instead of carrying a traditional notebook for note-taking purpose, I chose Traveler's Notebook. Given how thick it is, it provided a sturdier writing surface than conventional one. One unexpected use of the notebook was for people I have met to put down their contact information to keep in touch.
- Rhodia Rhodiarama in Iris
Call me a dreamer, but I had planned for down times toward the end of my day, distilling thoughts and wrapping my day up by practicing calligraphy. Rhodiarama's portable size and high quality paper made it a great candidate for this task. You wonder whether I actually did practice, yes, I did!
Instead of bring a quill and a portable inkwell, I defaulted to Pilot Falcon for its flex nib. Plus, in case panels were extremely dry, it would be able entertain myself without dousing off.
- Pilot Vanishing Point
This is one of the two fountain pens I had brought with me. It was chosen because it was retractable. Instead of unscrewing the cap, I could simply click on the knocker and write. No chance for me to lose a cap.
- Uni-Ball Signo DX
Though fountain pens are preferred, I always bring a gel pen for "just-in-case" situation. Especially when you were in a hurry (i.e. using express check out at the hotel), gel pens can be the unsung heroes.
Besides picking out a working travel kit, I also had an unexpected stationery gain while at the conference. My friend and I discovered a booth for Library Fair and Forum hosted in Yokohama, Japan. While she was chatting with the representative, my sight meandered and settled on one of the take-away goodies: a letter pad with flower motif from the scroll of The Tale of Genji. The other representative had noticed that my sight was fixated to notepad and asked whether I have any questions. I asked whether the notepad was fashioned after the flower motif from the famed novel. The representative first looked at me puzzled, then exclaimed, "you know about The Tale of Genji? Then you should really take a notepad with you." At that moment I felt for once nerdiness worked to my advantage. :)
The letter pad turned out to be a sheer pleasure to use. The paper is on a thicker and toothier side, but it takes all media that I have tested, including a metallic silver Faber-Castell PITT Artist Pen. Even De Atramentis Magenta Purple plays well with the paper.
Design wise, the paper is simple yet exquisite. There are 4 varieties: maple leaves, morning glory,
bellflowers, and cherry blossom. The ethos and name very much coincided with Pilot Iroshizuku's naming convention.