Book Scene: Snail Mail by Michelle Mackintosh – 2015

Who would have thought 30 years ago that some of the conventions we relied on for our day-to-day communications would be fighting for their very existence in 2015? With the advent and popularity of social media we have very gladly said goodbye to some things and very sadly realised that other things have gone by the wayside.

Gone are the days that you’d have to wait days or weeks for the result of a test, for the long awaited response to a job application, or even for communications about important business negotiations. Certainly this is the upside of instant communication, but all of this immediacy has come at a cost. For a lot of years the genteel art of writing and posting a ‘snail mail’ letter was seen as passé…obsolete…archaic.

BUT in the back blocks of our very own suburbs here in Melbourne, there was at least one person who never lost the passion for thoughtful, mannered and artful communication. Michelle Mackintosh, and her beautifully presented book Snail Mail, champions the cause of the stamped letter and all its conventions.

For those who appreciate that the written word is capable of having a life of more than a few seconds, minutes or hours, Snail Mail provides inspiration for those of us creative enough and willing enough, to pen the lines that may just last into the next century.

For some the will is good but ‘the way’ eludes us. Never fear…Snail Mail is part instruction manual on how to write almost any type of letter required. It is also part craft book, part history book, with many old and famous letters printed within, and part art book with beautiful examples of envelopes, handwriting and page composition.

So many of the old-style arts and crafts have returned: crotchet, macramé, patchwork, needlepoint, knitting, spinning and so on. For some, letter writing has always been a constant, but for many it will be a new discovery. Those finding it for the first time have so much joy awaiting them as each snail mail letter is like a gift…and let’s face it, it’s so much better to receive a thoughtful note from a friend than it is to get those droll demand letters. Get yourself a copy of Snail Mail by Michelle Mackintosh because it truly is a total delight.


About Sharon Brookes 67 Articles
Sharon is a freelance music journalist with 20 years experience writing for street press, web publications and blogs. She specialises in reviewing gigs, books, CD’s, and theatre productions.