Paper, pens and poetry

They say love is a letter written on pink stationery. Well, what about letters written on other sheets of coloured paper? What do they represent?

Walk into the Pen and Paper in the Royal Arcade, the largest stationary retailer here in Cardiff, and you may be able to find out.

This store is a haven for those with a penchant for paper in all shapes, sizes and forms.

From diaries and Filofax’s for the super organized souls to journals and notebooks for those who only prefer the occasional scribble.

Paperblanks are beautiful writing books renowned for their intricately designed covers. The covers depict anything from traditional 17th century motifs to art nouveau inspired elements, such as the one pictured in the photograph below.

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In a mood to share your deepest thoughts and secrets with someone? Then forget instant messaging, the writing sets and notecard collections with floral emblems could turn out to be your new best friend. Coupled with matching envelopes for a cohesive touch, the sets scream elegance and sophistication for just under £5.

However, vintage and art deco postcards are also on hand should you opt to pen a quick ‘hello’ to someone faraway..

There are also greeting cards, retro themed calendars, gifts in a tin and plenty more trinkets to surprise a family member, a lover, a colleague or a friend. They are as quirky as ‘sock monkey in a tin’, affordable and fun.

 

The list goes on. What you write says a lot about you. But what you write on may convey a whole lot more. So forget writing texts for now. Go on a little paper chase and choose to write some poetry instead.

 

 

 

 

 

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For the bookworm: In you

If a penny was saved each time someone mentioned the phrase “cuddle up with a good book” or “cozy up with a good book”, there would be far too many pounds collected to count.

Although the words ‘good’ and ‘book’ always go hand in hand, it’s not really an essential requirement.

For, depending on what you like to read, isn’t it granted that all books are good?

While most books are tasked with the responsibility of sharing knowledge and imparting wisdom, some go a step further. Some take it upon themselves to divert your attention to mysterious, far off lands. Others will teach you how to bake the perfect red velvet cake. There are books whose pages take you to the past, there are those which fast forward to a future on Mars.

Books that teach colloquial Mandarin are quite different from books that teach the art of Feng Shui. While interior decorators might grab a book on antiques, fashion designers may opt for one about fabric textures.

Joke books make you laugh, classics have the potential to make you shed a tear or two. Thrillers will have you grabbing the edge of your seat, gardening manuals will have you grabbing a pair of gloves.

But rest assured, whatever your choice, there is one store in Cardiff that has it all.

Troutmark which specialises in selling second hand books, first editions, comics, annuals magazines and other rare specimens, is conveniently located in the Castle Arcade.

At first, Troutmark may seem like an unusual name for a bookshop but read it in context with their slogan ‘just one visit and you’re hooked’ and bingo, it starts to make sense.

Explore Troutmark’s extensive collection:

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Molly Ernestine tweeted after a recent purchase of an autobiography: “The best find this afternoon from Troutmark Books –  a treasure trove of second hand books, comics and records.”

What’s truly special about this store is that not only are they book-sellers, they are also book buyers and will willingly purchase books off you.

Prices start from as low as a pound for some of the books on offer.

“Read a thousand books, and your words will flow like a river.” – Lisa See, Snow River and the Secret Fan