I’m obsessed with stationery shops – drawn to them most usually by the way the paper products are so meticulously arranged by colour and shape. But at the newest branch of New York’s Goods for the Study, it was the smell that I fell in love with before anything else. As you walk in from the West Village, the olfactory hit from the wall full of pencils on the right is compelling, and takes you straight back to school days. On my first visit, I couldn’t help but inhale deeply and linger. This second Goods for the Study store, which has its roots in one of my favourite bookshops in the world, McNally Jackson in SoHo, offers one of New York’s most pleasing shopping experiences for a writer.
As well as being a great place for pens and pencils – German brand Cleo Skribent is represented via some particularly slick pieces, including a propelling pencil ($80) and a classic fountain pen ($90) – the greeting cards are some of the best in the city. I like the variety of witty and chic letterpress cards ($5) by Blue Barnhouse and Katie Leamon’s polka dot Thank You cards ($5), but my favourite card in-store is “In Bloom” ($5), an all-purpose design by AHD that would suit any Generation X-er, featuring a stack of retro music cassettes drawn by Australian artist Mark Drew. Nirvana, Björk, Radiohead and The Smashing Pumpkins all feature.
Goods for the Study is also home to an impeccable selection of notebooks. There’s a full range of Moleskine products, but more interesting are the offerings from French leather artisan Louise Carmen, who creates covers for them – the Road Book ($100) holds three small notebooks, while Thot Book ($100) holds two and incorporates a brass closure. My modernist sensibilities gravitate strongly to the Treuleben leather journals ($186) – simply styled but superbly well made in a variety of colours, from blue to red (but it’s always black for me).
There’s also an appealing range of desk accessories, including brass paperweights in the shape of an apple ($152) by Graf Brass of Japan. And if you’re looking for the perfect desk, with elegant slanted legs in bright oak, then British brand Another Country might have just the thing, available for $1,870. It’s easy to furnish a whole home office with one visit to West 8th Street – and to find something you didn’t know you absolutely needed until you saw it here.