I would also love to get my hands on a copy of For the Love of Letters by John O'Connell. It was published in Great Britain but, alas, it is only available here in an e-book edition which doesn't seem quite right. (Update 27 Jan 2013: The O'Connell book is now available in hardcover from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.)Another book along the same lines and also published in Britain is Ian Sansom's Paper: An Elegy which I see won't be released here until May 2013.
Of course, that would be reading about writing letters and not actually writing them.
How does one get inspired to do the writing part?
Well, I see there is a Month of Letters challenge afoot to write and send a letter or postcard every day in February which was mentioned on "A Work in Progress" (here). It looks promising but I don't want to have to register to participate. Another site that encourages the art of snail mail is Postcrossing - which has been on my radar for a while but I haven't signed up - in which you send postcards to random people around the world and receive postcards in return.
Like I say, I love the Idea. But actually sitting down and writing is another thing entirely. I do a pretty good job of writing thank you notes. And, I don't buy greeting cards but do send birthday cards and sympathy cards with my own handwritten messages.
All this comes to mind because I received a letter from a friend recently. Over the years we have kept up a fairly inconsistent correspondence (she is more consistent than I). The envelope's postage stamp is a photo of my friend and her two dogs. I laughed out loud when I saw it. How fun! That is something you don't see every day.
And I have another friend who sends postcards on a very random basis, but I rarely reply in turn although we do keep in touch by phone.
To cut to the chase:
I went to the post office today and bought stamps both for 1st class letters and for postcards. The good news is I have plenty of note cards, postcards, and stationery in my stash so I don't need to buy any...unless I just want to.
So I will attempt to write a letter or postcard each day in February. That actually turns out to be only 23 pieces of mail as Sundays and the one holiday, Washington's Birthday, don't count.
What are your correspondence habits? Do you write letters or just like the Idea of Writing Letters? Are you willing to write a letter a day in February?