There is no greater thrill than standing before a rack of stationery goods and envisioning the crisp notebooks yet to be filled and the ink yet to be spilled. Even for those who don’t share this sense of wonder at paper products, stocking up on them can make midterm studying just a little bit more fun.
JAM Paper and Envelope
135 3rd Ave.
If you’re looking for paper, look no further. We’re not just talking boring printer paper, either. This is a massive space dedicated entirely to paper of multiple sizes in every color of the rainbow. There are paper lunch bags, paper gift bags, rolls of wrapping paper — you name the paper product, JAM has it.
This is also the sort of store where there are never employees in sight: a con if you need help with anything (though paper is typically pretty self explanatory) — a huge pro if you want to leave without buying anything and not feel bad.
Stevdan Pen & Stationers
474 6th Ave.
Stevdan sits on that strip of Sixth Avenue between 11th and 12th Streets where everything looks like a snapshot of New York from a bygone era, including the old-fashioned lettering on the Stevdan windows. Inside is a Mecca of stationery goods. There’s a wall full of pens and markers. Shelves sitting just beneath the low ceilings are piled to the brim with notebooks and binders.
There are notebooks here you didn’t even know you needed. Diaries, planners, finance books, reporter’s notebooks, steno pads — really, any possible variation of bound writing paper can be found neatly stacked in an aisle that smells satisfyingly of paper.
494 6th Ave.
Downtown Stationers has fewer notebooks than Stevdan and is far less well-organized; in fact, everything is in a sort of welcoming disarray. It has the typical array of stationery goods, just one block north of its neater neighbor.
However, Downtown Stationers has a particularly interesting sticker collection. On two racks in the middle of the store are sheets upon sheets of stickers depicting fruits, animals and bizarre Christian imagery. If you’re looking for some weird adhesive images to stick on everything you own, this is the place to go.
For rubber stamps:
Casey Rubber Stamps
322 E 11th St.
This is the sort of surreal, anachronistic shop that only exists in New York. You won’t find anything here other than handmade rubber stamps (and ink), and there are thousands of them lining shelves that reach the ceiling.
There’s really no way to classify the types of stamps sold here. They range from classic works of art to plants and animals to random words. Prices for most stamps range from $3 to $10, and John Casey, the store owner, will even make custom stamps based on your own designs.
Email Abigail Weinberg at [email protected]