Awesome ideas! The high-end stationary store sounds so cool. I love looking at stores like that, but with everything being so expensive, I never end up buying anything. Considering I'm going to write in the notebooks, and enjoy that, but eventually throw them away, I just don't feel like I ought to spend $20+ on just one. For those who, say, actively journal and keep all the books, I think it would be pretty cool.
There's a chain called Papyrus that I see sometimes--there's one in this mall that I go to about once a year. When I first started going, maybe ten years ago, they had a lot more notebooks, but lately it seems like they're almost entirely boxes of cards, like for thank you cards or Christmas cards. And they have a big corner where you can order custom invitations, like for a wedding. It seems like their business is going in that direction now, which is cool for people who need those, but not really what I'm looking for.
Making paper and books is fun, too! A friend of mine was into that for a while. She made me a cute little book that she stitched together herself, which I still use to make odd notes in.
This week I filled up a bound journal I was writing in, an older one about 8" x 5" with a blue fuzzy cover. I have continued the story in a plain old Mead Five Star hardbound composition book--not very snazzy, but it has 100 pages/200 sheets and I thought the story deserved this after filling three smaller notebooks. I finished off three Uniball Jetstream pens in a row--I think they're ballpoints, but very smooth. Two were the new BLX types and I have to take back what I said before, the "black-infused blue" ink was a lovely dark turquoise and the "black-infused purple" ink was, well, purple. They also wrote for a good long time and, as I said, were quite smooth for ballpoints. However, I wasn't completely satisfied with them, as they started to get gummy at the tips; and from about halfway through their use, the ink began to come out inconsistently, such that the writing would be light, then dark, then light, then dark, like it was about to run out any second. I don't like thinking more about the pen than the writing, you know?
Now I'm using a ballpoint I got from a work conference, unknown make. It has a heavy metal barrel, which is a little more weighty than I'd like, but I'm sure it will be fine for the time being.