New from Simon & Schuster

For the Love of Letters

For the Love of Letters

The Joy of Slow Communication

  • customer reviews
Remember letters? They were good, weren’t they? The thrill of receiving that battered envelope, all the better for the wait . . . In this richly entertaining book, paper geek John O’Connell puts forward a passionate case for the value of letter-writing in a distracted, technology-obsessed world. Drawing on great examples from the past, he shows that the best letters have much to teach us – Samuel Richardson’s ‘familiar letters’; Wilfred Owen’s outpourings to his mother; the sly observational charms of Jane Austen. And in doing so he reminds us of the kind of letters we would all write if we had the time – the perfect thank-you letter, a truly empathetic condolence letter, and of course the heartfelt declaration of love. Was there a Golden Age of Letters? Why is handwriting so important? Can we ever regain the hallowed slowness of the pre-Twitter era? In answering these questions O’Connell shows how a proper letter is an object to be cherished, its crafting an act of exposure which gives shape and meaning to the chaos of life.

***

‘The nib touches the paper. And instinctively I follow the old formula: address in top right-hand corner; date just beneath it on the left-hand side. My writing looks weird. I hand-write so infrequently these days that I’ve developed a graphic stammer - my brain’s way of registering its impatience and bemusement. What are you doing? Just send an email! I haven’t got all night . . .’
Choose a format:
  • Atria Books/Marble Arch Press | 
  • 192 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781476718804 | 
  • January 2013
List Price $20.00
This title is temporarily out of stock, please check back soon.

Read an Excerpt

I Hope You Are Well

It sounds random and crazed, this obsessing over a letter, this blithe buying of expensive paper from a shop it had never even occurred to me to visit before.

But there was a trigger.

The previous week I’d been clearing out my mother’s flat when I found a box file containing all my letters home from boarding school. I was nine and at prep school when I scratched out the first with my brand-new Osmiroid fountain pen, fourteen when I agonised over the last.

I was surprised my mother had kept the letters. She wasn’t generally sentimental about the past, even her... see more

More Books from this Author

Read more about this book

Explore

CONNECT WITH US

Get a FREE eBook
when you join our mailing list!