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Letters ... as a Genre, and Other Things

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Here we are, mid-month in the Month of Letters challenge.  I'm keeping up . . . sending out cards and little notes every day so far.  And although I'm not really writing any letters this month (I'm more apt to do the quick note and card variety of correspondence these days), I am thinking about letters quite a lot.

And I have these random letter-related thoughts to share with you today:

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As you know, I read a lot.  And I've discovered, over the years, that I really enjoy epistolary novels -- or narratives told through a series of letters, journal entries, newspaper clippings, etc.

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I think it all started with Flowers for Algernon, a book I first read - and loved! - in seventh grade.   I think there's just something fascinating . . . with peeking into other people's diary entries or private letters . . . even if it's just fiction.  For me, that format just brings a sense of connection and "realness" to a novel.    Over the years, there have been many, many epistolary novels I've loved:  Carrie, Dracula, The Screwtape Letters, The Stone Diaries.  And, more recently, Where'd You Go Bernadette? and Frances and Bernard.

How about you?  Do you enjoy epistolary novels?  What are your favorites?

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What do you do with all the fun cards and lovely notes you receive in the mail?

I usually display a few favorite cards on my bulletin boards at home or at my office (because I really like to surround myself with lovely images and special notes).  And then, I save the rest by making little "card binders."

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I just gather my cards, punch holes in them with a hole punch, and thread them on little binder rings I pick up at the office supply store.

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Sometimes I group the cards by theme (if there's a big "event" that has generated a lot of cards, for example), but mostly I just assemble random cards together.  It's easier to save special cards when they're bound together in a manageable way, and I'm much more apt to take a look at them when they're in tidy little groups.

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How do you keep track of cards and notes?

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I have a "thing" for stationery.  Somehow, I'm always drawn to the paper goods at any store, and my supply of greeting cards and note cards far exceeds my letter-writing habit!

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I keep a little basket stocked with notecards, stamps, and return address labels so I'm always prepared when the letter-writing bug bites me.

I even use an old-school address book that I've had for nearly 20 years!

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I think this is why the Month of Letters is always so appealing to me!  I like to read letters . . . and keep letters . . . and collect stationery and addresses to write letters.

 

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