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The Perfection of the Paper Clip

Curious Tales of Invention, Accidental Genius, and Stationery Obsession

Change the way you look at office supplies forever with this wonderfully enlightening and quirky exploration of the fascinating backstories of everyday objects, such as the humble and perfectly designed paper clip and the utilitarian, irreplaceable pencil.

How many of humanity’s brightest ideas started out on a scrap of paper or in the margins of a notebook? In a delightfully witty and fresh voice, James Ward—cofounder of the Boring Conference and collector of the arcane—explores the secret histories of deskbound supplies, from pencils to fluorescent ink, and the gleaming reams of white paper we all take for granted, encouraging a deeper appreciation and fascination for the things that surround us each day.

In the spirit of The Evolution of Useful Things and A History of the World in 100 Objects, Ward transforms the mundane into remarkable stories of invention, discovery, and even awe. The Perfection of the Paper Clip is “a hugely entertaining experience for the reader…this engaging book is an absolute must” (Booklist).

© Richard John

James Ward is the cofounder of the Stationery Club and the Boring Conference, featured in The Wall Street Journal and The Observer (London). His blog I Like Boring Things, has been featured in The Independent and on the BBC website. He lives in London, and The Perfection of the Paper Clip is his first book.

"A hugely entertaining experience for the reader… this engaging book is an absolute must." —Booklist

“A heartfelt paean to stationery.”—Daily Mail (UK)

“Explores that satisfying feeling one gets from the first fresh sheet of a Moleskine and what a particular variation of pen says about you.”—Vogue (UK)

 

“Elegantly written . . . James Ward has ensured we won’t need another book on stationery for a very long time indeed.”—The Observer (UK)

“Ward writes with a blend of wit, unhealthy obsession, and pure love.”—Financial Times (UK)

“Investigates the drama of the desk tidy. . . . Many questions you never thought to ask when chewing your Bic are answered smartly in black ink on white paper in geeky detail.”—The Times (UK)