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Adventures in Stationery

UK Publisher: Profile

We are surrounded by stationery: half-chewed Cristal Bics and bent paper clips, rubber bands to fiddle with or ping, blunt pencils, rubbers and Tipp-ex. They are integral parts of our everyday environment. So much so that we have no idea of the stories they have to tell.

But James Ward is here to explain how important stationery is to us. After all, who remains unmoved by the sight of the first sheet of a brand new notepad? And which of humanity’s brightest ideas didn’t start life on a scrap of paper, a Post-it, or in the margins of a notebook? Exploring these everyday objects, Ward reveals tales of invention – accidental and brilliant – and bitter rivalry. He also asks the difficult questions. Who is Mr Pritt? What does shatter-proof resistant mean? How many pens does Argos use? And what do design evolutions in desk organisers mean for society? Perhaps most importantly, it’s time to ask Blu-Tack: what are the ‘1000s of uses’ they claim?

Combining telling details, peculiar facts, a love of humour, hubris and brimming with curious stories, this book will change the way you look at your desk for ever.

James Ward is a London-based blogger and writer who chronicles the mundane and the everyday on his blog, I Like...