Saturday, July 14, 2007

Light Reading

There’s pretty much a book on everything, but when it comes to pencils we aren’t exactly spoiled for choice, even less so when it comes to mechanical pencils.

One of the few pencil books is “The Pencil – A History of Design and Circumstance” by Henry Petroski (434 pages, cA5 softcover, 2004). It’s an interesting read for anyone interested in pencils, although its 99% woodcase pencils and mechanicals only get the occasional minor reference.

There are quite a few books on fountain pens, and since most older pens had matching pencils, these books are also worth reading. My local public library has a couple so I’ve read those.

This week I splashed out and bought a copy of the relatively recently published “Parker Duofold” by David Shepherd and Dan Zazove, in collaboration with the Parker Pen Company (361 pages, A4 softcover, 2006). As expected its 99% Duofold pens, but there are a couple of dedicated pencil pages, and a few other passing references and pictures, particularly as pen pencil sets. I haven’t read the book yet, just skimmed it, but it looks good. Lots of photos, reproductions of bright colourful advertisements, etc. Very easy on the eye. A little bit of light reading for a quiet winter evening.

I do actually have a new Duofold, have to get around to reviewing that after I’ve finished the book. Grrrrrrr….already I can feel the pull of the evil eBay, there must be dozens of Duofold pencils just waiting for my bid.


Anonymous said...

So, any interest in writing a book on mechanical pencils? I would buy it!

You've already got a great start in these dozens of excellent articles you've already posted.

Kiwi-d said...

Well thanks for the encouragement, but I think I'm long way from being expert enough to write an authoritative book on the subject. I'm just a guy with a lot of pencils!

chumly said...

I love art drawn in pencil.

Glen Mullaly said...

Despite the focus on wood pencils "The Pencil" was a good read. The history of pencils, lead and mechanical pencils is quite fascinating.