Started in 2001 by the United States Postal Service, National Card and Letter Writing Month takes place yearly in April. Letter writing is a means of communication that’s long been replaced by digital technology. In the time of instant communication, however, letter writing is still important. There’s no argument that sending a text is a more efficient method of communicating, while writing a letter, by contrast, is a time-consuming and sometimes difficult task to take on.
So, why would anyone want to write a letter? In our increasingly distanced and digital world, a handwritten letter is a personal experience that can build lasting connections. Its rarity in this time of effortless communication makes it a gift. Taking the time to write a letter takes thoughtful consideration. It involves a level of intimacy that is primarily lost through other methods. The experience of writing a letter can even be therapeutic.
In celebration of National Card and Letter Writing Month, here are a few stellar reads about letter writing.
Written in the form of letters, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society takes place in 1946, just after the end of World War II. Juliet Ashton, searching for more serious projects to write about as a journalist, receives a letter from a Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society member, a cover name to protect members from arrest by the Germans.
Can anything be done to revive letter writing? That's the question posed in To the Letter, a book that traces the history of letter writing and its current decline.
Nina Sankovitch's Signed, Sealed, Delivered examines the history of letter writing and, through her own personal letters, discovers what makes handwritten letters special.
In For the Love of Letters, John O'Connell makes a case for the value of letter writing while examining some of history's most extraordinary letters.