Mutant hybrid office supplies
June 15, 2007 10:22 PM   Subscribe

Flat pencil or pen that can be used as a bookmark- does such a thing exist successfully?

Recently, I was reading a book in which I needed to underline things, and I took it on some errands on the subway with me. I was using a regular mechanical pencil as a bookmark so I could underline as needed. However, the book wouldn't close properly, and the pencil kept sliding out of the book when it was in my bag, and it was annoying. Also, like many people, I sometimes like to carry a notebook and pen or pencil around with me, and have similar troubles then. It occurred to me that a flat or nearly flat writing instrument that could double as a bookmark would be an extremely useful thing. Google search produced these "flat sketching pencils", which still seem too thick. This comment in a previous thread led to these pens, which seem kind of cheap and poor quality, and also maybe too thick.

My question, then, is: Does a really good implementation of this idea already exist? Or are the above-linked examples the best we have for now? Has anyone encountered any interesting bookmark/pencil hybrids in the wild?
posted by doift to Grab Bag (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: On further searching, just found the "Foldz Flat" pen, which could maybe sorta work, but I think the ideal bookmark/pen would go seamlessly from being a bookmark to being a pen, and unfolding the "Foldz Flat" seems to require quite a few steps. Plus, as noted in the link, ugly.
posted by doift at 10:34 PM on June 15, 2007

Foldz-Flat pen is close. Derringer wallet pen also close.
(I don't think either is quite right, but thought I would throw them out there)

You're right that the flat sketching pencils are not typically thin enough to be a good bookmark - they'd break the spine of most books if they were sloshed around in a backpack enough.
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:38 PM on June 15, 2007

D'oh. Great minds agree: preview.
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:39 PM on June 15, 2007

Another thought: Refills for ballpoint pens might be a good cheap source for thin pens.
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:44 PM on June 15, 2007

There are promotional pens made by sandwiching a ballpoint refill between a couple of pieces of flat card -- a less elaborate version of the folding pen. I found various ones under the searches "flat pen", "mailing pen" and "bookmark pen". This link has some super ones.

I don't know how you would acquire them in small quantities -- maybe craft your own with a good quality refill?
posted by Idcoytco at 1:50 AM on June 16, 2007

You might try the local Barnes & Noble; they sell combination flat pens/bookmarks. Can't find it on their web site right now, though.
posted by brool at 2:26 AM on June 16, 2007

How about on eBay?
posted by barometer at 7:38 AM on June 16, 2007

the bookmark pen you had linked is only about an eighth of an inch thick, not sure you're going to find a decent writing implement much thinner than that.

Only other option I can think of is something like a book bungee and just clip a ballpoint to the bungee on the outside.
posted by pupdog at 8:13 AM on June 16, 2007

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