Ink for You

Jonathan Carroll
1 min readJan 31, 2024

Writing by hand with a fountain pen, I go through a lot of ink for each book. Which means a lot of empty ink bottles that used to be recycled and forgotten about. Eventually I had a clever idea after having emptied yet another while in the process of rinsing it out. A reader was coming to town and asked if we could meet so I could sign some books for her. I said sure.

Using a Sharpee pen, I signed my name and ‘Wien 2021” on the side of the empty bottle. When meeting with the reader, I gave it to her after signing the books. At first she looked at it quizzically like why are you giving me an empty bottle? Then she saw the signature. I told her I’d used the ink in the bottle to write my new book. Big hit. Big smile.

Since then I have been saving those bottles. So if you’re in Vienna when I am, let me know well in advance at and I’ve got some glass for you.