Unlike the handsome Abbé, he had never been pursued by any woman, let alone a continent of them. He was almost thirty, and the one amatory interlude that had embellished his life thus far had been with the woman who came into his shop early one morning and asked him what he sold besides books. As he began to run through the stock — prints & mariners’ charts; journals & pocketbooks; embroidered letter-pouches; bills of lading & shipping paper — she slipped off one glove and ran a slender white finger along the surface of a ribboned stack of envelopes — best gilt, black-edged, post & plain writing paper; sealing wax & wafers — she unpinned her hat, shook her hair out, and began to tug at the strings of her bodice… ink & ink powder … scissors & penknives … bookmarks & booksnakes…. He never found out the woman’s name or anything about her other than the obvious fact that her passion was aroused less by his charms than by stationery. He looked at his trade with new eyes after that day, aware of just how many solitary women frequented his shop. But after that one frantic encounter, half-clothed atop his desk amid spilling paper, life went on as before.
—Thomas Wharton, Salamander
I do love stationery but, er, more as a friend. 😉