Mailbox Monday: Letter Writers Alliance

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If anything, the past ten years spent in a digital world has made me long for a return to more things analog. Although blogging about books has enriched me immeasurably, both with the people and the literature it has brought to my life, I will always most appreciate the feel of a book: the scent of its binding, the whisper of its pages turned, the handwritten notes in the margin, the underlined passages. The convenience of a kindle, and the illumination of the nook’s screen, do not make up entirely for the weight of a novel in my hands.

And so it is with writing. Is there any email that can replace a handwritten letter? The handwriting is an extension of the sender; the personality, the mood, the sentiment is all conveyed so seamlessly on the smooth page. I love to consider handwriting, for I feel it reveals so much when I look at the size, the slant, the formation of the lower loops. Long  have I studied handwriting analysis; longer still have I taught cursive to my class, one of the few teachers in our elementary building who continues to do so.

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So it thrilled me to come across the Letter Writers Alliance based in my very own city of Chicago. For a mere $5.00 you can become a member, thereby gaining access to the member’s shop, but more importantly, a pen pal of your own.

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Once you have applied to become a member you must actually wait until your letter arrives, which includes a membership card with your own ID number, as well as a username and password for the site.

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Then you can enter your number into a very brief questionnaire which will help the organizers make a match for you.

I am awaiting the name and address of the person to whom I will write, but I had to share this alliance with you in case you feel as I do: the need to be more like a person, and less like a machine, through the time honored tradition of the handwritten letter.

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12 thoughts on “Mailbox Monday: Letter Writers Alliance”

  1. Sounds like fun! Enjoy writing to your new pen pal 🙂 I had one in middle school and we wrote to one another up til grad school. It was such a fun experience and I still have her letters. I remember how fun it was to get one in the mail.

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  2. Welcome to the world of snail mail correspondence! I discovered it already twenty years ago and saw many pen pals coming and going in this time… but I managed to build a few very precious and lasting friendships too. Unfortunately, there are ever less still willing to take the time to indulge in the real thing. I lost quite some interesting pals to e-mail etc.

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  3. I still keep in contact with a pen pal from SD that I had since I was 12, although now we only correspond once a year around Christmas. Enjoy your paper friendships.

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  4. What a great idea. I can’t remember the last time I got an actual written letter in my mailbox. It’s sad to think cursive writing will soon be a foreign language to many young people. I know a lot them are no longer learning it in school.

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  5. Very cool idea. I must admit that my cursive handwriting which, being left-handed, has always been rather slow and never a thing of beauty, has suffered over the years. I cringe each time I need to write a check for a copay and, lately, have resorted to printing everything but the signature. Good luck with your new correspondent and do let us know how it goes.

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