Stationery tourism

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Vienna is still filled with small, specialty shops, and one of things I remember best about living here is just how long you can spend running errands — getting coffee from the coffee store, veggies from the market, bread from the bakery, and so on. There are supermarkets, of course, but you can’t even count on finding light bulbs in them; for that it’s best to head to the electrical appliances store. There are stores that sell gloves and umbrellas. Stores that sell scissors and knives. It’s not very time-efficient, but it does help you appreciate the craft that goes into these everyday products.

And it’s a stationery addict’s paradise, because there are also plenty of stores that specialize in writing supplies, and the proprietors are always happy to give you advice and chat about this or that item. The store in the picture above is called Mastnak, and it’s something of a local chain; the slogan means “We are paper.” This one is located near my old apartment in the 7th district, and it’s got three floors that are filled with pens, paper, notebooks, art supplies, office supplies, and more.

Here’s a smaller, more upscale store in the city center, founded in 1838:

And here, not 4 doors away from it, is a newer one!

Unsurprisingly, I couldn’t resist making a few purchases, which I’ll blog about in the next few days.

5 thoughts on “Stationery tourism

  1. Ah, I love stationery tourism! I’ve yet to visit Vienna, but it looks like you found some wonderful paper stores during your trip. I have visited small (and sometimes large) stationery shops in France (where I discovered Clairefontaine and G. Lalo), Spain, Italy (a real paper lover’s dream), and Korea. We also like to photograph the stationery stores I visit, allowing me to relive the memory later.

    The one negative thing about stationery tourism, for me at least, is that it exposes you to brands and papers not easily found in the US. I therefore tend to hoard the special paper rather than use it.

  2. Thanks, Lito! I love them, too; it’s one of the things I really miss about Vienna. I mean, there are small, specialized shops in New York, but they tend to be more boutique-y.

  3. Great post! I love these little specialised shops, they all have their special smells and it’s a delight to browse in their usually crammed interiors. I’m looking forward to reading about your purchases.

  4. Thanks so much for sharing your trip with us, Leah. I especially appreciate that you included pictures also. I’ve never traveled outside the U.S., so it is great to see this glimpse of Europe.

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