A review of the book Snail Mail: Celebrating the Art of Handwritten Correspondence

Have you ever seen a book and known even before opening it up that you will love it? When I saw on Michelle Mackintosh's Instagram account that she was releasing a book called Snail Mail: Celebrating the Art of Handwritten Correspondence I knew I had to have it. As a fan of Michelles work and a huge snail mail enthusiast it was probably inevitable that I was going to like it. But I didn't want to get my hopes up, especially as I hadn't read a single review or in fact read anything about it. 

Before it arrived I had expected it to be a 30 odd page book talking about the history of snail mail with the occasional photo of envelopes or stamps but it turned out to be so much more. It is 221 pages of pure snail mail infatuation and I have fallen for it big time!  I didn't think it was possible for me to like letter writing any more than I did but after reading this book I have found a renewed energy to get letter writing and creating colourful mail. This was meant to be a review by the way but I think it's just going to be alot of gushing about how great the book is instead. So here goes. 

As you can see from the contents above it covers more or less everything you would want to read about snail mail. From the getting started (the how, whys and when) to actually making/upcycling your own envelopes and paper. There are tips on how to make your words look more attractive, ideas for turning your mail into pieces of art and suggestions for creating care packages. The author also talks about how to expand your snail mail network by having pen friends. If all of that was not enough there are envelope and aerogram templates included as well as 3 pages of gorgeous mail inspired stickers. 

My favourite bits
I have many best bits in the book, one of my favourite parts is when the author talks about the lost art of manners. I am pretty keen on manners and being polite, as my children will (with a groan) vouch for. According to Michelle, manners are about everyday kindness and respect, which includes thoughtful gestures. She talks briefly of her love of Japan where the exquisite manners and kindness of the people keeps her going back frequently to visit. Being creative with correspondence is apart of everyday life there, she says. With the exchange of letters and notes being common place. I can see why she would like it there so much. I would love to go to Japan. Along with the peoples exquisite manners I have heard from the book and many other places that the country has an abundance of shops dedicated to paper supplies and washi tape, whats not to like!

I found the first chapter 'Write here, right now' really useful as it provides a good starting point for writing a letter. If, for example you want to get into writing but don't know where to start or are a regular letter writer and are looking for some ideas on when and what to send, suggestions are given for the types of letters you can write. The suggestions include; a congratulations letter to mark a success or happy occasion (can be for a small achievement), a fan letter, a love letter and a consolation/ hard times letter. The author also mentions the 'just because' letter to, which is the one I write most.

The 'Crafting a Letter' and 'Post with Personality' chapters are my other favourites as they are all about getting creative with your mail. There is a really good tutorial for how to make your own homemade paper from picture frames, mesh and scrap paper which I think I will definitely have a try at. There is also tips for making upcycled envelopes, and envelopes out of fabric.

The how-to on making a wax seal also looks really good. I hadn't thought about making my own seal before, what a great idea! There are so many things from the book I want to try and this is one of them.

Above are some of the gorgeous examples of mail included in the book. How inspiring it is to see so many beautifully decorated envelopes. What a creative and thoughtful bunch snail mailers are!

With all the fantastic content in the book the 3 pages of stickers that are included at the back are the real icing on the cake! I can't wait to use some in my next lot of letters.

As you have probably gathered I recommend owning this book. It is full of ideas and inspiration to get you excited about writing letters. It's also a great reminder of how wonderful a handwritten letter is and how special it is to receive. As Michelle says, you can really brighten someones day with a lovely letter. So what are we waiting for? I am definitely inspired now to get writing, how about you? 


  1. Your post inspired me so much that I... have ordered the book! I hope I'll enjoy it as much as you do. Thanks for sharing!
    (Usually I don't do that sort of impulsive shopping!).

    1. I think you will like the book Eva, let me know what you think when you have read it. Thanks for reading my blog.

  2. This book is oh so wonderful.. like you i knew i had to have it long before it came out.. and i'm so glad i preordered it... it's amazing! I blogged my review here http://www.bonitarose.com/2015/04/new-book-love-snail-mail.html

    1. Thanks for commenting Bonita. I enjoyed your post about the book. What lovely stamps you have, so jealous!


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