So often stories find me, I don’t find them. But for me this story takes the cake, as it’s the first that found me through none other than my mom. Last night we had a big family dinner at our house, and just as we were were sitting down to eat she was showing one of the kids something on her iPhone when she shouted, “Oh my gosh Sarah, drop everything and look at this RIGHT NOW!”

Since I was holding a pan of lasagna I couldn’t do that just then, but later I did, and my mother as usual is correct — I MUST get this book. It’s a British import available through Penguin‘s Gotham Books and is written by New York Times best-selling author Simon Garfield, who has also penned tomes on fonts and maps. According to Garfield’s website, To the Letter “is “a rallying cry to put pen to paper and create a form of expression, emotion, and tactile delight we may clasp to our heart.”

I’m not comfortable writing much more about it until I actually read it, but it’s apparently full of informative tidbits such as the fact that acronyms are not nearly as hip as previously thought — and haven’t been since Roman times. Garfield notes, “Rather than write, ‘If you’re well, that’s good — all’s well with me’, correspondents wrote SVBEEQV (si vales bene est, ego quidem valeo). It was the earliest, rather more modest  version of SWALK.”

Obvioulsy I can’t wait to read this book, which can be ordered here. There are no Amazon reviews yet as it was just released here November 14. In the meantime however, you can watch this fun video to your heart’s content.

To the Letter by Simon Garfield

To the Letter by Simon Garfield


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