Writing Matters to James Daunt
Posted by National Stationery Week
From Shakespeare and Milton to Lennon and Gallagher, generations have picked up a pen and written mountains of music, poems, plays and stories that has stood the test of time. National Stationery Week is proving that ‘Writing matters’ and is continuing a tradition dating back to around 3200 BC.
The art of writing by hand is backed by Waterstones Managing Director James Daunt who believes that a strong education is the foundation of the written word.
“Reading, understanding and creativity are all tied closely and directly linked to education. Starting right from day one, writing by hand is one of the fundamental foundations that opens the mind up to a world of discovery.”
Mr Daunt, who has been at the helm of Britain’s largest book retailer since 2011, understands the power of the written word and believes that getting closer to the written word allows you to become a part of the world in which words create.
“Tapping away at keys detracts you from the emotion and the feeling that words and sounds can create. If you’re confronted by a piece of paper and a pen, then you’re engrossed in the moment. At the time, the world is your oyster.
“For me, a blank sheet of paper is the most exciting moment!”
National Stationery Week is proving that ‘Writing matters’ and that a love for pens, pencils, paper and all things stationery can open up all avenues of possibility. National Stationery Week is showing that stationery can live alongside technology in an increasingly digital age.
During his tenure, James Daunt has seen the rise of tablets and e-readers but a 3pc rise in physical book sales in the first quarter of 2015 showed a resurgence in a love for the written word.
“You have to nurture that love of vocabulary. Once again, it comes back down to education. If you can marry up reading and writing, you find your own voice, your style and your true personality comes out. The words become a part of your fabric; who you are in that moment and where you are.”
Despite all of Mr Daunt’s personal and business triumphs in the publishing industry, he sees a crucial stage right at the beginning of his life in shaping who he is today.
“Like a building, solid foundations are crucial in self-development. Completing my journey through the education system has given me something to build up and discover other pathways. But those foundations are always there.
“Handwriting is one of those foundational pillars. Without it, you are separate from words and the world around you. Handwriting brings you right back to those fundamentals of discovery, play and creativity.”
Although Mr Daunt travels regularly around the world with his high-profile role at Waterstones, his favourite pieces of stationery makes his desk feel like home.
“There are two inseparable pieces of stationery that I couldn’t do without.
“I love my headed notepaper and fountain pen. It makes my letters so much more personal and allows me to feel connected to what I write. Fountains pens are just stylish and classy, they’re a staple of the stationery industry.”
Chris Leonard Morgan, founder of National Stationery Week, is proud to see James Daunt involved.
“He’s a well-respected business leader and we are honoured to see him involved in our campaign. It’s important to pick up a pen and anyone could write the next Hamlet, Harry Potter or number one hit.”
National Stationery Week runs from 25th April – 1st May and champions all things stationery. Sponsors for the 2016 National Stationery Week are Sheaffer, Maped Helix, BIC, Staedtler and Nu Notebooks.
This press release was posted on Tuesday, March 15th, 2016.