For the love of letters

Because firing off an email just isn't the same…


For the love of letters

The art of penning a handwritten letter hasn’t much changed since Roman times; we’re still licking and stamping, but the tradition came under threat with the invention of email in 1971 and the decline has accelerated over the past decade.

In his book, To The Letter: A Journey Through A Vanishing World (Canongate, £16.99), Simon Garfield discusses snail mail and the personal, physical touch it delivers; he quotes Katherine Mansfield: ‘This is not a letter but my arms around you for a brief moment.’

Is firing off an email as romantic as the time spent writing a letter and delivering it? Garfield thinks not. He wonders whether our use of email is not a substitute for letter-writing but instead a ‘temporary and illusionary bridge to not writing at all’.

As Make Me Joyful blogger Cheryl Adamson said to Psychologies last year, 'For me, happiness is handwritten. For the price of a stamp, you can change someone's day.' We agree. Time to pick up our pens…

More inspiration:

Read Jackee Holder's Why I love writing by hand on LifeLabs