Chasing Paper: why do folks love stationary so much?

I replaced my laptop recently, and the saddest part about it was the loss of my growing collection of stickers that had ended up plastered onto what was once a shiny silver surface. As I scour Redbubble and Etsy for new stickers for the new blank, black, sticker-less surface in front of me, I find myself wondering what it is about stationary that folks love so much.

Why is it that Paperchase eats up so much of my paycheck? Why do I have such a growing collection of stickers? Why do I have piles of notebooks and sketch-pads when I’m not even halfway through my current journal?

Hell, I started journaling to begin with because I wanted a way to use up the many notebooks I had laying around in a productive way. And then I started dedicating notebooks to poetry, to sketching, to productivity, simply because I couldn’t keep up with the frequency at which I found myself with stacks of empty books!

It’s definitely retail therapy - I remember ranting to a Paperchase employee after I dumped £25 worth of paper goods and stickers onto the counter about how this was my treat for a stressful month. But what is it about stationary that draws folks attention?

I might be imagining it, but so many people agree when I talk about how nice it is to buy stacks of new nice notebooks. Be it childlike glee walking into a five story stationary shop (they have one in Munich, and it’s basically heaven) or the gasp of delight at a careers fair when you see a business brought notebooks and insists you take a few so they don’t need to bring them back, we’ve all felt it at some point or another.

I know that this probably isn’t the most sustainable mode of retail therapy - probably far from it. Stationary is something that is bought to be used up. It is necessarily finite. From an environmental point of view, it’s probably quite unethical.

That being said, I love opening a gift to find someone stuck a little sheet of stickers in there for me. Happiness is a finite resource too, isn’t it? If that’s the case, one more journal couldn’t hurt…

(This article was not sponsored by Paperchase, but if they're offering, I am not going to refuse!)