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A long time ago, a pen was a beautiful thing to own; back before the advent of ballpoint pens, fountain pens were the rule of the day, and everyone not only knew how to take care of their fountain pens, but they also had a healthy adoration and respect for the fountain pen they owned. While there is certainly no "need" for you to own a fountain pen these days, there are still many people – either because they are collectors, or simply because they prefer to write with a truly grand writing instrument – who prefer to use fountain pens, and while you can get a great fountain pen for under one hundred dollars, this investment will do nothing for you if you do not know the proper way to take care of your pen.
The first thing you need to know about your fountain pen is that you should always store it upright (with the nib facing upward); if you store your pen with the nib (the writing portion) pointing down, the ink will have a tendency to coagulate – or clog – in the nib, which will make the pen rather useless. One of the primary reasons so many people get so much pleasure out of writing with a fountain pen is because they write more smoothly – with far less strain on the hand and arm – than does a ballpoint pen; when you write with a fountain pen, however, make sure you remember that they write more smoothly, as pressing down too hard while writing with your fountain pen will ruin the nib. And of course, cleaning your fountain pen periodically will be important; generally speaking, you should rinse out your fountain pen after every two refills of ink – running cold water (not hot, as this can ruin the nib as well!) through the inside of the pen and allowing it to dry for a few hours before filling it with ink again. Taking the proper approach to caring for your fountain pen will ensure that you will be able to write the way people used to be able to write – with a priceless instrument that required attention and care, and that paid the user back with hours of pleasurable writing!