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.