O is for Obsessive Stationery Purchasing Disorder

Ois for Obsessive Stationery Purchasing Disorder. I didn’t make that up. It’s a real condition. Well, I’m absolutely sure it must be, because several of my friends seem to be fellow sufferers.

It’s bad enough trying to pass a book shop or a book stall at a market when you’re trying to avoid buying more books, without the added pressure of avoiding stationery. I love book shops. I love the smell and the feel and the look of books. They don’t even have to be new, to be honest. If I see a market stall selling second hand books I’m straight in there. I got a bargain at the market in Chesterfield town centre during the switch-on of the Christmas lights. When everyone else was looking the other way, I noticed an immaculate copy of a biography of Matt Smith just sitting there, looking at me. It was a hardback with a clean and complete cover, and it was fifty pence. Fifty pence! It didn’t stay sitting on the market stall for long, I can tell you that much!

My children learnt many, many years ago, that when we are out and about and a book shop looms into view, I will be lost to them entirely unless they take drastic action. Hence, I can guarantee that when I’m a few feet away from Waterstones or WH Smith or any other book shop in the area, my arm will be firmly grabbed and I will be steered well away, with the words, ‘Oh no you don’t, Mother!’ ringing in my ears.

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Some of my note books

The trouble is, it’s not just books I need to avoid. It’s stationery, too. I love it. Scrapbooks, journals, diaries, post-its, planners, and note books. Note books…Oh, I’m drifting away again. My sister once bought me an absolutely beautiful Nemesis Now note book. It had a slate cover with a fairy sitting on a crescent moon on the front and a gorgeous red rose on the back. There was even a matching pen. It’s the best present she’s ever bought me, and to be fair to her, she’s bought me some lovely things over the years. I still have it, because it’s far too precious to write in! You can see it in the bottom centre of the photograph.

Recently I discovered Paperchase. I know, I know, it’s been around forever and just about everybody seems to have heard of it but me. I was in Beverley, having met up with my pals Julie and Alex, and I was wandering down the street on my way to meet my husband to go home, when out of the corner of my eye, I glimpsed it…

Obviously, I was lost. It’s hard enough in Beverley, which in one small area has the most fantastic second hand book shop, an Oxfam book shop, two discount book shops, a WH Smith book shop and now Paperchase. And that’s just in the tiny area I was in. Goodness knows what else I’d discover if I ventured further afield. I’d been in all the other shops, but never Paperchase, but the display in the window was too much to resist, so in I went.

Oh my! Have you been in there? Have you seen the gorgeous hand-stitched journals? The magnetic closing diaries? The beautiful scrapbooks? I stood there, stroking the covers and sighing, and then I thought I must be getting some very odd looks. But when I looked round, everyone else seemed to be stroking covers and sighing, too. The assistants just smiled and nodded, as if we were fully expected to behave in such a fashion and I began to wonder if the air was drugged. But no – the simple truth is, a lot of people have Obsessive Stationery Purchasing Disorder. My fellow Write Romantics have it, too. They totally understand that, when I wander into a stationery store, I may as well have stepped into the wardrobe and found Narnia, because I sure won’t be coming out of there any time soon. Julie actually bought me a lovely hand-stitched note book with a typewriter on the front (bottom left of the picture) when I found out There Must Be An Angel was going to published. She also got me some lovely coloured gel pens. I love writing with them.

My next purchase will be a Paperchase scrapbook so that I can keep all my Write Romantic news and clips in there. We’ve featured in Romance Matters (the Romantic Novelists Association magazine) and Writing Magazine so far. I definitely want to keep all those cuttings and hopefully add to them.

I foresee a steady stream of stationery purchases ahead over the coming years. It’s inevitable when you have this disorder. I’m not sure if there’s any cure. But you know what? Even if there is, I think this is one condition I’d rather like to keep.

Have a great day xx

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6 thoughts on “O is for Obsessive Stationery Purchasing Disorder

  1. Heavens, I have this disorder too. Was very bad when I was working as I was in charge of stationery, held the order book and had the keys to the stock cupboard. There was no hope for me. Then I discovered SA – Stationery Anonymous 😉 and whilst the condition is controlled, it never truly goes away. Have to take the other half with me to steer me away from the stationery aisle in the supermarket too.

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    • Does that work? My other half sits in the car when I’m shopping so there’s no one to control me. What a job you had, being in charge of stationery! I admire your willpower, joining SA. I don’t think I could bring myself to do it. 🙂 Don’t get too controlled, though…Thanks for commenting x

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  2. Hi Sharon, Yes, I recognise those symptoms and ‘fess up. I also have obsessive gadgets purchasing disorder. This involves buying useful looking ‘shortcuts’ to cleaning from firms such as Kleeneze, which I often don’t take out of the cellophane. Unsurprisingly, the house never looks any cleaner. anne stenhouse, Novels Now.

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    • Haha! I used to buy loads of stuff from Kleeneze, too. Don’t think I ever used any of it. It’s a bit like the Avon brochures. Buy stuff out of them but don’t use half of the products I purchase. I think I’ve got my Kleeneze/Avon addiction sorted, but I doubt I’ll ever get over the stationery and books addiction. Mind you, I’m not sure I want to. Thanks for commenting x

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  3. Hello, my name’s Jessica and I’m a Stationery Purchasing Obsessive too. It’s been a month since I bought my last notepad …

    Thanks for the mention and what a stunning set of notebooks you have! I have stacks and many are far to beautiful to ruin with my scrawly handwriting. Notebooks are my main weakness, but I also adore pencil cases and post it notes. Pencil cases is a rather silly one because, seriously, how many pencil cases can one person use?! I have about eight or nine, but that’s only because I’ve been exceedingly restrained. I could easily have a three-figure collection!

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    • Haha, I know all about your addiction, Jessica! You’re an inspiration to us all. 🙂 Pencil cases don’t interest me, really. That’s quite an unusual one…Having said that, I could use a pencil case myself. All my pens are currently stuck in a desk tidy or scattered in the top drawer of my desk. A pencil case would make awfully good sense. I may have to investigate…xx

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