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Favorite Pens for Reading — The Gentleman Stationer

Whenever I go on vacation in the summer, or even when I’m just lounging around here at home, I like to read outside (weather permitting). If I’m reading nonfiction, I tend to be a relatively “active” reader, meaning that I enjoy highlighting/underlining passages, entering marginalia and jotting down notecards that I sometimes store in a library pocket before I transcribe them to a commonplace book. I generally have a specific set of pens that I use as “reading companions,” mainly lightweight ballpoints and/or pencils that I can clip to the cover or tuck between the pages unobtrusively. It’s a major category that I’ve elected to stock in the shop, and since I know so many of you are avid readers, I thought I’d share my favorites here. If there are any “bookmark-style” or other annotation-appropriate pens that you enjoy and think that we should consider stocking, please drop us a line or leave a comment below!

[UPDATE: I’ve been reviewing my stock and it’s time to do a summer clearance! Take 10% off almost everything in the store using the coupon code SUMMER – automatically applied at checkout – and some items have been placed on deep discount already. Excludes TWSBI and Lochby! Sale Ends at 11:59pm on July 5.]

The Gentleman Stationer Curated Shop is an authorized retailer of all brands shown here.

  1. Traveler’s Company Brass Ballpoint Pen. My favorite pen for reading and annotation went with me to the beach this month and added to it’s patina. Lightweight and featuring a needle-tip hybrid ballpoint/gel refill, I consider this the perfect pen for marginalia and annotation. (We also sell the refills.)

  2. Pokka Pens. While the tip isn’t as small as the needle-point on the Traveler’s Company Brass Ballpoint Pen, the Pokka Pen is extraordinarily light, and when paired with the optional clip, makes for an awesome pen to clip to the cover.

  3. CW&T Pen-Type C. Fans of the Hi-Tec-C gel pen will want to consider this flat titanium “bookmark pen,” which gives you the CW&T writing experience at the $50 price point. Personally, I clip the pen to the front cover as opposed to using it as a true bookmark. (It’s also a useful pen to slip into the PVC pouch on a Traveler’s Notebook.)

  4. Caran d’Ache Bicolor Annotation Pencils. The perfect companion for those of us who like to highlight or annotate in colored pencil. The standard graphite is relatively firm, so you don’t need to sharpen often, and it’s still dark enough to remain legible.

  5. Mazzuoli Nobile ITALIA. A unique writing instrument that I haven’t written about in a whlle, this ergonomic ballpoint from Mazzuoli ships with three different ballpoint refills and a .7mm mechanical pencil insert. I have the “Aviation Blue” version with the mechanical pencil, and it makes for a great portable writing companion.

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