Dear Eleventh Stack Readers,
Even in (or perhaps despite?) this digital age I live in, I’ve always loved handwritten letters. There’s just something special about someone willing to take the time to craft a newsy letter and it’s even more fun to receive it in the mail; it’s a bonus if it’s handwritten on lovely paper. For over twenty years now, I’ve corresponded with a grad school friend whom I have not seen since 1991 but, every month, we exchange letters. In fact, she refuses to correspond with me via email and, to tell the truth, it wouldn’t be the same. Email makes it too easy to be short and abbreviated but, with paper and pen, I can take my time telling my news; it’s almost meditative.
My minimalist tendencies, however, get in my way. Currently I am trying to use up all of my stationery stock before I even consider buying more. But it has made me even more creative (okay, let’s face it, cheap) and I’ve even taken to using old library book due date cards and old postcards. My friend, on the other hand, always seems to have a limitless supply of beautiful writing papers and cards for every occasion.
I love to write so writing letters and coming up with things to write about has never been a problem for me but, if it is for you, the library has several books to help:
The Art of the Handwritten Note : a Guide to Reclaiming Civilized Communication by Margaret Shepherd
Just Write : the Art of Personal Correspondence by Molly O’Shaughnessy
In closing, as an English major, I can’t let the moment go by without mentioning a few of my favorite epistolary novels that tell a story through letters:
Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Choderlos de Laclos
Lady Susan by Jane Austen
84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
Until next time,