I found love in the stationery cupboard (No, not like that!)

By Charlotte Kemp

The object of my affection is made of the most gorgeous, squidgy leather that’s finished with an elegant, gold clasp. It costs way too much but I don’t care. I want it. We’re not talking handbags, but notebooks.

A Mulberry Postman’s Lock Pocket Book may be considerably cheaper than a Mulberry handbag — but at £225 it is still sadly way out of my league.

That doesn’t stop me lusting after it, of course, and if I won the lottery, I’d buy it tomorrow.

A 'back-to-school cool' woman

Write on trend: A 'back-to-school cool' woman

In the meantime I’ve had my  stationery fix for the week: I’ve spent less than the price of a designer lipstick on a shopping basket full of goodies from the new Martha Stewart home-office range at Staples.

I’ll add the A5 journal (£12.59) to my vast collection of notebooks.

My desk is littered with them, along with countless diaries — current and historic — quirky postcards and letter-writing sets.

I’ve also got a drawer full of  ink pens, ballpoint pens, highlighter pens and propelling pencils. I’ve even shamelessly stolen my seven-year-old daughter’s dinky mushroom-shaped eraser.

Like many women I’m addicted to stationery. While I’d hesitate to buy designer clothes, shoes or bags, I just can’t resist the lure of an Orla Kiely memo block or a box of heart-shaped paperclips.

This week, Keira Knightley became a poster girl for the  humble Post-it note when she revealed at the premiere of Anna Karenina that her copy of the book was stuffed with them. ‘I’m very into stationery,’ she said.

Joanna Lumley, meanwhile, is a Ryman fan.

‘It is the one shop I can’t go past without going into,’ she admitted in a magazine interview. ‘I have shoeboxes full of pads and pens. I just can’t resist lovely stationery.  I always carry a notebook in  my handbag.’

Call it back-to-school cool but we can’t get enough of it. John Lewis has reported a 177 per cent rise in the sales of premium stationery lines, and Smythson of Bond Street enjoyed a 400 per cent increase in profits from 2010 to 2011.

There are many designer collaborations — from Ted Baker notebooks to the Filofax by Temperley, which was launched last week. Even Net-a-Porter has a stationery section showcasing Lanvin notebooks (from £30), Smythson favourites and a goose feather pen, £40, by the absurdly chic label Maison Martin Margiela by L’Atelier d’Exercices. A pen for fashionistas if ever there was one.

And while £40 is a pretty expensive pen, you are still getting a designer fix at a fraction of the price of a new dress.

It seems crazy, in this digital age, to be lusting after paper, pens and pencils. So why the sudden popularity of old-fashioned stationery?

Part of the appeal is in the desire to be organised. There’s nothing like buying a folder or address book to make you feel you are taking control of your life.

It seems that stationery fulfils a deep-rooted need.

‘Men want function and women want function and fashion,’ says Charlotte Rivers, 35, the author of I Heart Stationery (£15.99, amazon.co.uk). ‘I think women are fed up with faceless emails.

‘They want a written record of their lives. They want keepsakes, boxes of stuff, and funny or beautiful cards they can frame and put on the wall.’

Charlotte Rivers was driven by her love of stationery to produce her book, a lust-have list of paper goodies from across the globe.

She insists she would rarely spend more than £10 to £15 on a notebook but she does happen to be the proud owner of the Mulberry Pocket Book I covet. It was a present and she admits it’s as heavenly as it sounds.

I can feel myself getting goose pimples just thinking about those unsullied pages, and I long to experience the satisfying feeling of opening and closing that gold clasp. Now, where can I buy a lottery ticket?