The Power of Personal Letters

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“As I learn the advantages and value of e-mail, I cherish some of the old-fashioned ways more and more. When I get a real letter now from a real friend written with a real pen and ink, I read it real slow – several times – and file it away for safe-keeping.” (Linton Weeks)

That quote is a good resume of the premise of the book, Always First Class: The Power of Personal Letters by Lois Barry. Yes, we know that email communication can be more efficient, but there’s something about an actual letter that is special. Worthwhile. Useful in its own right.

Ms. Barry has filled this book with quotes about the benefits and complexities of letter writing. Many of those quoted are famous literary figures, past and present. The chapters are short with intriguing titles such as Of course I saved your letters, Looking forward to your voice on the page, and But wait! There’s more.

I agree with a quote attributed to Goethe: Letters are among the most significant memorial a person can leave behind.

Keep calm and write on!