Exciting news! The Pencil of the Month Club is back! I joined the original POMC on a lark, because I was amused by the idea of people taking pencils so seriously, and $24 for a year’s subscription seemed a tiny price for so much potential entertainment. Well, I had no idea what I was in for! A padded envelope arrived at the beginning of each month, containing three pencils, an occasional bonus item (an eraser or sharpener, or my favorite, the musical note magnetic pencil holder), and a description of each item. It was almost silly, how much I came to look forward to that little package each month. As Modhran put it a couple days ago, “You’re absolutely giddy when your pencils arrive.”
Over my year in the club, I got art pencils, technical pencils, novelty pencils, and a wide variety of basic HB writing pencils from around the world. I learned about wood types, variations in lacquer and lead, and erasers. I found I had clear preferences””had always had them, actually, but had never stopped to think why I might prefer one pencil over another. The POMC membership educated me into becoming one of the funny people who take pencils “˜so seriously.’
The last package arrived in April, along with a note that said the Club wouldn’t be continuing in its current form, but they were exploring options for reconfiguring it. I’ve checked back periodically since, but had basically given up hope. In fact, when I went to the site the other day, it wasn’t to check on the club, but to see if I could order more of a certain type of pencil that had been included in one of the mailings. And there, oh joy abounding, was the announcement of the Pencil of the Month Club vol. II! It honestly made my day. The new club is more expensive, and I had a few moments’ serious consideration about whether I really intended to spend $6 a month on pencils. On the other hand, what else could I spend $6 on that would make me as happy? POMC v.II, sign me up!*
*Registration begins Oct. 1st. Why isn’t it October yet?!!