Midwest Book Review

  • By Diane Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

Please Write: Finding Joy and Meaning in the Soulful Art of Handwritten Letters makes a case for handwritten letters as an important source for communication even in a digital age, tapping personal experience, anecdotes, and the enthusiasm of avid fellow letter-writers to make its case.

From why putting ink to page creates a different legacy and feel than a phone call or email to different kinds of writings that inspire not only connection, but art, Lynne M. Kolze reviews the history, methods, and purposes of effective letter-writing using a lively voice that will inspire readers to cultivate their own letter-writing skills and circles.

Kolze makes a powerful case for choosing writing over dashing out an email:

“Today, emails work well to convey one’s homesick feelings to those back home, yet something profound is missing when the recipient cannot touch or see the paper that tangibly holds those thoughts. Electronic messages give us little to hold on to—we cannot feel the paper that our loved ones held themselves or perhaps even kissed or cried over before sending them home. We can too easily lose the special flourishes, creativity, and soul of the writer when we convert our analog writing into digital communications. Thankfully, there are still letter enthusiasts and volunteers who put pen to paper for military men and women, bringing joy to homesick souls.”

From antique postcards and the works of postcard enthusiasts to seasonal letter-writing and tapping the wellsprings of written inspiration to inject self and a sense of place into the world, Kolze provides an inspirational blueprint for better understanding the power of the pen and why writing should remain relevant in these modern digital times.

Libraries and readers interested in the history and incarnation of letter-writing efforts will find Please Write a passionate, lively celebration that will make one wish to run to the mailbox in hopes of discovering the joy of something handwritten and personal inside.