Monday, September 6, 2010

Fountain Pens, Paper and Stamps

In honor of Labor Day I'm going to try to entice you to do something laborious, something you've long since given up in favor of something easier, quicker and infinitely less beautiful than what you gave up.

I want you to write a letter.

Oh alright, this has nothing to do with Labor Day other than the fact that I'm spending the day home and it's raining so I can't go out and putter in the garden or have a barbecue or any of the traditional American 3-day-weekend pastimes  Which takes me to the woolly wilds of the worldwide web and an echo of something I wrote back in December.

The Pen is Mightier Than the Sword was a counterattack against the notion that hand writing something is somehow outmoded or a bad idea.  I think otherwise.  I propose the wild and woolly notion that to say that the advance of digital communication is no more an excuse for giving up handwriting than the advent of Adobe Illustrator meant we had to stop teaching artists to use a real paintbrush.

Which brings us to the undeniable brilliance of a blog called the Letter Writers Alliance that reawakened my love of the written word.  The handwritten word.  It's no secret that I'm a big fan of paper and ink and these guys have taken it to a wondrously obsessive level.

So yes, I implore you to write a letter.  You don't even have to lick the stamp anymore (though you might have to lick an envelope).

It's time to write something before we forget how.  Get a ballpoint, a fountain pen, a crayon or a piece of chalk, it's all the same to me.  I just want to illustrate how untrue is the subtitle of the New York Times article that "Handwriting is dying because it’s a slow and inefficient way of getting our thoughts out — a hindrance to thinking, given the alternatives..."


1 comment:

  1. I still like writing letters. There's something about pen on paper, but also I still LOVE getting mail. So on a regular basis I send letters and cards to friends and family just because. I think it's a nice surprise.


Pages to Type is a blog about books, writing and literary culture (with the occasional digression into coffee and the care and feeding of giant robots).