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Thread: Fountain Pen Books

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    Senior Member Deb's Avatar
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    Default Fountain Pen Books

    The best fountain pen books vary from expensive to very expensive. That isn't because the authors or publishers are cashing in, it's because books full of high-quality photographs, of necessity on expensive paper, are costly to produce. They are aimed at a small market and never receive the cost benefits of mass production as bestsellers do. The cheaper ones tend to be at the "entry-level."

    As a result there are books that I recommend and others that I would suggest are less useful. That's not to say that they aren't interesting and entertaining but if money and shelf space are in short supply, concentrate on the other ones.

    Some books are mainly American, some are mainly (or entirely) British. There is one on Japanese pens that I don't have. That's the one that got away! One of the books I do have makes an effort to be international but it's still quite light on the Far East. If you want more information on any of these books I have reviewed them all at greater length in my blog.



    The one I want to mention today was one of the first that I bought. It's Collectable Fountain Pens by Juan Manuel Clark. This is a thick, small-format book. I think of it as entry-level but within that limitation it's a good production. The profuse photography is very good and each pen is given a brief description. There are pens in this book that you are unlikely to see anywhere else. It covers the main Western manufacturers quite well and mentions some Japanese pens. Though I would hardly regard it as a reference book – it's rather too lightweight for that – it has an index which enables a quick consultation.

    The book is part of something called The Collectable Series. It has been around in an English-language version since 2002 and I can't tell whether it's still in print but second-hand copies are widely available. It cost £10 when new and is likely to cost a little more second-hand now. It's by no means an essential but it is an entertaining and informative little book.

    More to follow - watch this space.
    Regards,
    Deb
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    Senior Member Linkinyeah's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fountain Pen Books

    I want the Parker books, but they are so expensive. I wish they offered a Ebook option.

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

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    Default Re: Fountain Pen Books

    Thanks, Deb. Your knowledge and writing clarity will help everyone.

    Cheers.

    Sg

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    Senior Member Deb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fountain Pen Books

    Very kind of you!
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    Deb
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    Senior Member Deb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fountain Pen Books

    I don't know the David Shepherd books.
    Regards,
    Deb
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    Default Re: Fountain Pen Books

    I definitely want this one.

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

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    Senior Member Fermata's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fountain Pen Books

    Sorry, slipped up.

    David Shepherd produced the P51, Duofold and VAc books through Surrenden Pens, I think that they are all very difficult to find now, great books to have and very stylish. A little bit of repitition between the three but no big deal. I know that David was working on a book for the Depression era Parkers a few years ago but as all has gone quiet I presume that project has stalled. Perhaps the likely sales of the book was thought to be more limited.

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    Senior Member Deb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fountain Pen Books

    I think that series is one of those that is particularly US. I was unaware of them. I'll be talking about some books that are entirely UK as well.
    Regards,
    Deb
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    Senior Member Fermata's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fountain Pen Books

    I have just looked on Amazon for the Duofold book, have a look at the outrageous price in the link just for the paperback version

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Parker-Duof.../dp/0954687523

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    Default Re: Fountain Pen Books

    In the words of Paul Simon, you can call me Al.

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    Senior Member Deb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fountain Pen Books

    That's just silly money. Does anyone pay those prices?
    Regards,
    Deb
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    Senior Member Fermata's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fountain Pen Books

    Quote Originally Posted by grainweevil View Post
    Those prices are outrageous, really outrageous.

    I bought two copies of the Duofold on publication, I thought £45 was all the money never mind £1000. Sold one for £90 so my copy doesnt owe me anything.

    If Covid gets me then the book and its Vac sister book will be in the mail.

    eta

    The David Shepherd books are on Ebay at a little bit more reasonable price

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_f...arker&_sacat=0
    Last edited by Fermata; March 21st, 2020 at 10:08 AM.

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    Default Re: Fountain Pen Books

    Deb recommended Pen Repair by Jim Marshall and Laurence Oldfield. On Amazon US, the price is $120 and up as it's O.P.

    There was a 4th edition reprint scheduled for April 2020, but I would assume that's been put on the back burner.

    I would expect the used book prices to fall in the next months.

    Prices are falling in the Antiquarian book markets and this will happen for other books too.

    I see where Richard Binder's books are available on Kindle. That might be worth a look.

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    Senior Member Deb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fountain Pen Books

    I've read some of Richard Binder's Kindle books. They're quite good.
    Regards,
    Deb
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    Default Re: Fountain Pen Books

    Is it still possible to get one of the Collectible Stars books? The web site just leads me in circles.

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    Senior Member Deb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fountain Pen Books

    It works OK for me. It may be different in your location.
    Regards,
    Deb
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    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fountain Pen Books

    Quote Originally Posted by sgphoto View Post
    I see where Richard Binder's books are available on Kindle. That might be worth a look.
    Binder's three volumes are, essentially, repackaging of the content he has on his website, freely available. I'm not saying this as a complete negative, as I purchased two of them so that I could have them on my iPad for handy reference away from the net, but only mentioning so someone wouldn't get ticked off that it wasn't completely new material.
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Default Re: Fountain Pen Books

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sgphoto View Post
    I see where Richard Binder's books are available on Kindle. That might be worth a look.
    Binder's three volumes are, essentially, repackaging of the content he has on his website, freely available. I'm not saying this as a complete negative, as I purchased two of them so that I could have them on my iPad for handy reference away from the net, but only mentioning so someone wouldn't get ticked off that it wasn't completely new material.
    Thanks, Jon. Saved me some money!

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    Senior Member Deb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fountain Pen Books



    Sorry about the poor photo!

    Martins, Leite & Gagean: The Chronicle of the Fountain Pen. This is by far the best effort at an international history of the development of the fountain pen. It is presented in chronicle form, as the title indicates. The yearly introductions are informative and the photography is first class – very good for pen identification. As you can tell, mine has been used so much that it is battered and tattered.

    This is an expensive book. Andy's Pens has it at £89.95. I don't remember what I paid for it but it probably wasn't much less when I bought it several years ago. It can be found second-hand for a little less. In my estimation it is worth every penny. Apart from its utility, I am fond of this book because I had some correspondence with Luiz Leite, a kind, helpful and very knowledgeable gentleman.

    If you buy this book and make much use of it, you will develop mighty arm muscles: it is a heavy book!
    Regards,
    Deb
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    Default Re: Fountain Pen Books

    Quote Originally Posted by Deb View Post
    It works OK for me. It may be different in your location.
    I was able to register today and the site worked better. However, i am not able to checkout because there’s “no delivery option available”. (I’m in the US).

    The site seems to say that PDFs are available, which, given the situation, is what i would prefer. But maybe they’re just saying that there are sample pages in PDF form.

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