Niech Żyje Papier! 4!: Paper Dreams

Niech Żyje Papier 4
The secret addiction of mine that sucks every penny out of my bank account: stationery. Love ever since I was a child, but suppressed by my mom, who has never understood it. However, every single school year was cherished because of the opportunity to buy another notebook and pencil case. It seemed like it shall fade while studies when there’s no need for too many notepads or pens but it turned out the other way. I was finally free to love what I love and widen this craziness to discover more and more beautiful things. Because, surprise!, I wasn’t the only one. Although it indeed is a narrow community, it does have its fire. And you wouldn’t believe how incredible it can be.

Zwykłe Życie (en. Simple Life) is a Polish magazine that gives insight in ordinary things and shows how extraordinary they can become. Each issue has a certain subject and collects ‘people, places and things’ connected to it. They helped me discover a lot of minor and unknown companies, places or events. Moreover, they have been organising stationery fairs. Unfortunately, I could never attend them. Everything happens in the capital city and most of the time I can’t fit that into my schedule. But this time I finally saw what stationery lovers actually look like.
It is the fourth edition of Niech Żyje Papier (en. Long Live the Paper). It took place a week ago, on 30th September and 1st October in Museum of Ethnography in Warsaw.


Niech Żyje Papier 4

On the first day, I spent over two hours at stores exhibition. Among the shops I recognised from my online hunts, I found a lot of handmade creators who took their love to paper to another level. I wanted to buy everything, from every single vendor. However hard I try, I’m not an artist and I truly admire them, especially when they keep their work as far from digital world as possible.


I loved the actual quality of all the items sold. It was never about quantity. Never made just to sell, but to love, and it’s so comforting to find oneself in such community. In the world of consumerism, it is rare to find it on any street.
Escribo Niech Żyje Papier 4I definitely had to visit Escribo who travel as far as Japan, to bring what’s best in paper. I’m very fond especially of Midori brand and they enabled me to save my money on sometimes pricy delivery from Asia. I am really grateful for that.


The people working there are just incredible. I finally got Traveller’s Times which is some sort of an advert of Traveller’s Company but it’s so lovely and so rare outside Japan that every fan of TC products want to get at least one. And that dream finally came true. Furthermore, they have a lot more Japanese stationery and you just can’t walk indifferently beside it. I had a very pleasant chat with them, it was so heartwarming to finally meet the faces behind the shop.
Another store I was already familiar with was Rzeczownik that specialises (somewhat) in Korean products. I’ve recently spent so much at their Internet store that the first thing I told them was ‘I hate you’. No lies there. We talked for a while about Iconic pens and other stuff that they had on their table. I found myself very comfortable among people of the same interests. Finally, to be honest. Not many of my mates are even slightly interested in anything analogue. Welcome to the digital world.
Niech Żyje Papier 4The biggest shock was given by Leuchtturm1917. Their notebooks for Bullet Journaling has always been selling fast,

but I couldn’t believe they sold 5 of these with black cover within an hour. I assume I am still kind of outside of BuJo community in Poland. I started playing with the system over two years ago and recent outbreak in my country still makes me a little of an outsider. My bullet journaling was ‘raised’ by outside sources and Internet shopping abroad because there was nothing available in Poland at the time. Now there’s such a huge market for all the planners, calendars, bujo’s and so on. I can see all the materials spread everywhere and in such small prices. Take washi tape for example. Even today one of the seller was really surprised that it costs 8 zł (~2€). For me, it’s incredibly cheap. I  used to spend over twice as much on one roll. I’ happy it’s finally among us.

Actually, I can’t believe how great conversations I participated were. I had been gathering all my social skills for this event, but it surprised me how kind and easy the talk with people was. Simple chat, even without buying anything, didn’t really make me tired or ashamed in any way. It’s been a while since I felt good in a crowded place, so I believe it perfectly describes the atmosphere on the fairs.


Niech Żyje Papier 4

The next day was slightly different. I stayed almost the whole time in the discussion room. Sadly, I was 9 minutes late to sign for any workshop, I had to pick up some other task and focus on it. I’m not disappointed. From the very beginning, lecturers showed their devotion to the spoken subjects so everything worked well.
I especially enjoyed the first lecture which was about book covers and the stories behind them. To be honest, I’d never paid much attention to them, except deciding whether it’s pretty or not, so it was quite eye-opening. The lecturer, Przemek Dębowski, the artist of the covers himself, told great stories about complicated discussions with authors, ingenious and simple ideas and the game the artists want to engage the reader.

Another one was a little surrealistic, for a person who doesn’t know anything about it. ‘Cities made by paper’, to translate the title logically enough, was about plenty of different subjects. One was about artists trying to help local people work out their urban environment and create more pleasant places to live in. The first story was about Cairo and the poorer district where people were trying to change their closest streets with a help of paper model of the district. However what intrigued me more were the abandoned towers created by Oscar Niemeyer in Rio de Janeiro and the fight to make them alive again. Next part was describing actual buildings created by folded paper and artists behind them. Well, cardboard furniture for dogs seems a good idea, I’m just not sure how long it might have survived with a puppy ;).

Niech Żyje Papier 4

The last lecture I was able to attend was about Japanese paper presented by Escribo founder. Surprisingly a very short

one showed the differences in paper production in Japan and why they don’t care about its weight. The audience received the examples of paper they were speaking about to try their actual quality. Well, I thought I knew pretty much in this subject but Mrs. Elmira indeed surprised me with a couple of information.

Sadly, afterwards, I had to head to the station so I said my goodbyes and take the last look at the fair. It was really pleasant two days. Enormous thank you, whoever was there to create such an amazing atmosphere.

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