Box Files - A Love Affair

I absolutely love box-files. I love their geometrically pleasing symmetrical appearance and workmanlike stance. They were designed to be fit-for-purpose, perfectly created and do exactly what they were conceived to do with no-nonsense style and grace.

I love the springy lever thing inside that has the ability to break bones in your fingers if not respected. I love the little plastic catch and the silver lipped hole on the front that allows you to push a finger into the unknown, gauging the weight and then sliding it effortlessly out from its place to be opened with a heady mix of anticipation and intrepidation while the others in the line remain stoically stationary and regimented.

I love the way they sit so beautifully, huddled together on the shelf, leaving a perfect one-inch lip. And the labels on the front. Perfectly glued and pristine white. Mostly, I dare not write on them for fear my spidery handwriting will ruin the look, much preferring to create neat, uniform dyno labels using green tape in stark contrast to the random design of their thick cardboard walls and which pleases my eye.


source This is a real box-file. It has all the attributes and it's a real box.

Obviously, I'm not talking about the modern plastic ones with their tasteless, bright colours. No, there's a sense of dignity and historical continuity in the traditional styles that still bring a sense of elegance to a modern setting as much as they brought gravitas to the offices of yore. They were the cloud storage of the fifties as they sat away from the desk on rows of shelves, the well-worn path from workstation to box-file was the information superhighway of its time.


source This is NOT a box-file so how dare call them such? These are common or garden folders with a stolen pattern. Nothing more, nothing less.

I love their utility, you can put 'stuff' in them. Not just papers and files but loads of other stuff like tools and stationery, books, cloth, socks, memories. Box-file time capsules. You can even build model railways in them that spring into life when you pop open the catch. Their uses are only limited by your own imagination.


source Two box-files. One model railway. Try doing this with a stupid ring-binder!

What's brought all this on @nathen007? Calm down and have a pot of tea, lad.

What's brought this on is that in the ten years I've lived in Thailand, I haven't found anywhere that sells them. Just stupid folders and ring-binders which means loose-leaf worksheets and other paperwork have to be put into flimsy plastic sleeves before being filed.

What's even worse is, I have no idea why! Why would a whole damn country refuse to acknowledge the existence of such a perfectly designed filing and storage solution? Here we use more elastic bands than the rest of the world put together. We have a million uses for those metal black binder springs. We are at the epicentre of historical stationery, so why no box-files?

This damn country!

I really do think it's time to break out one of my emergency Yorkshire Tea bags and have a sit down, something else that could be stored in a box-file instead of a re-purposed Kit-Kat tin....

I hope everyone else is having a better Sunday than me. Best wishes.


3 columns
2 columns
1 column