And here we are at the end of #8PenQuestions! I’m answering 7 and 8 together here as they’re so closely linked.

You can see my all of my #8PenQuestions answers here.

7. Do you have a limit on pens (or inks) in your collection? Is it a number? Is it a feeling? When do you know that you have reached your maximum?

8. Consequently, what would you do if another pen/ink came along?

I don’t have any hard limits for either pens or inks in my collection; it’s very much a “by feeling” thing. That said, the answer differs somewhat for pens and inks, so I’ll look at them separately.


I’ve definitely been through phases of buying too many pens, leaving me feeling overwhelmed with the end result – I had far more pens than I could ever use. The solution was to go through my collection and weed out the pens that don’t matter to me, and set them aside to sell or gift.

Now, although I don’t have a rule of thumb about ‘how many is too many’, I have criteria for buying a new pen:

  • Am I just buying this on a whim? If so, it needs to be so cheap that I don’t feel bad about getting rid of it for np/minimal return later.
  • Is this a new colourway of a pen I already know I like? If so, go ahead, provided I’m sure I like the colour/finish.
  • Is this an expensive pen? (My threshold here is around $150 AUD.) If so, I’d better have thought about it a lot before purchasing. Probably for several weeks before I’m sure.
  • If this pen doesn’t fit in any of the above categories, I need a good and specific reason to buy it, such as a specific use case or purpose it will fulfil.

So far these criteria seem to be working pretty well to minimise regrets and overwhelm, and I’m pretty happy with the state of my collection. 

So, I don’t have a maximum beyond a vague feeling of “too many”, and provided I stick to the above rules I’m happy to consider buying new pens sometimes. 

A scatter of ink swatch cards in a range of colours and finishes

(A lot of ink means a lot of swatching…)


A limit… on inks? Is this a thing that happens?

I joke, but also not really. I haven’t yet hit a point where acquiring more ink makes me feel worse, and I do have a bit of an ink habit. My only real regrets have come when I’ve bought inks that either a) didn’t match the swatch, leaving me disappointed, or b) turned out to be near-duplicates of inks I already own. I’m trying to minimise the latter; just because I love a colour doesn’t mean I need every ink that’s exactly that colour, after all!

That said, I’m trying to buy inks in samples more often, and only switch to bottles for the inks I know I want to use a lot of; I always underestimated how much writing you can get out of a single sample, but they really are a good choice if you have a retailer who sells them. My main problem with samples is just that they’re a lot harder to store, identify and access easily, which means I tend to gravitate towards using my bottled inks and thus buying more. A good ink sample storage setup should solve that, though!

So, no maximums, although I’m making an effort to use more of the inks in my collection instead of just relying on my old favourites again and again. If a new ink comes along, heck yes I’ll buy it! If it’s a locally available ink I’ll buy a sample first to try, but if it’s a limited-edition ink or I’m purchasing from overseas I don’t mind buying bottles – as my collection attests! 

If you’re curious, my ink collection is listed on my profile at Fountain Pen Companion; it should be fairly up to date. It tells me I have 225 bottles of ink… maybe I should rethink the idea of a limit! 

And… that’s it for 2024’s #8PenQuestions hashtag. It’s been a lot of fun to think about my participation in the fountain pen and ink hobby like this – thanks for reading along!