Book Review: The Pencil Perfect

I was tickled pink (cover pun entirely intended!) to be able to read The Pencil Perfect: The Untold Story of a Cultural Icon by Caroline Weaver. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when the book arrived but it turned out to be about the size and shape of a text book with a black bookcloth spine and a ribbon bookmark and a salmon pink cover with a pencil-drawn illustration of a Blackwing 602 on the cover. Inside is a thorough history of the pencil from the discovery of graphite to the post-war Japanese pencils and the resurgent love of pencils in the 21st century. The text is annotated with coordinating pink call-outs and is ridiculously thorough. It is conversational but super-educational.

Even if you didn’t think you would be interested in the pencil industry, there is so much about how Faber-Castell, Caran d’Ache, and Empire all got started. Then how so many of them merged, married and submerged. Since so many of these pencil companies are also makers of pens, its curious to see the histories.

I know its not Caroline’s thing but I know she must have so much information about how the mergers must have affected the pen portions too. Maybe someday she’ll write a pen book? One could hope.

Until then, immerse yourself in the pencil history. Its fascinating! The accompanying illustrations are amazing. CW Pencils is currently sold out of the books but you can be emailed when they are back in stock. In the meantime, I dare you to read this book and not want to buy some pencils!

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