Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Go buy this book right now!

So I normally just hawk stationery products and stuff you can use for letter-writing, but this book definitely falls under the umbrella of "stuff you can use for letter-writing" so I'm going to share my immediate postal excitement about it.

I preordered "Good Mail Day: A Primer for Making Eye-Popping Postal Art" by Jennie Hinchcliff and Carolee Gilligan Wheeler a few weeks ago. It wasn't due to be released until Sept. 6, but it came early and was waiting for me today.

I had reservations about whether or not I should buy this book, because I figured I pretty much know the scene for pen-palling and have my own happy style already, and some of the promo materials make it sound like a how-to guide. Also, I am a mail enthusiast but not a mail artist; I'm not much into art for art's sake and prefer the communication of a letter of postcard. (Bracing for attack from mail artists now) BUT, this book is just great for any postal enthusiast, from the beginner to the advanced. Not only does it include envelope templates and suggestions on where and how to find pen pals, but it's got great resources for supplies and other things, the writing is very witty, and the photos are inspirational and beautiful. Just go buy it. Oh, it's listed as a paperback, but the cover is kind of cardboardy and it's really more sturdy than I expected, too.

If you're unsure, definitely have some fun at their blog, Good Mail Day. (It's been linked in my "letter blogs" sidebar for a while.)

I haven't even finished reading it yet, but I've paged through it and am (obviously) just ridiculously excited about it.


  1. I've seen a lot of good press about this book around letter-writing blogs. Hmmm. I usually like to read a book from the library before I buy it, but I'm trying to decide if I want to make an exception.

    I also like to buy from my local independent bookstore, but if it's not supposed to be released until Sept. 6 it's a little difficult to get it... I guess that's why Amazon gets everyone's business, because it does things like that.

  2. Oh, you're so right about supporting your local independent bookstore. Mine just has crappy stock, but I know they can order anything for me.

  3. I want to encourage anyone who wants to shop from retailers OTHER THAN Amazon to ask their local independent bookseller for this (or any other) book. Most retail booksellers use one of a number of book distributors, and most of them should have access to Good Mail Day. I know this because when I want any book, I go to my local small bookshop (Christopher's in San Francisco) and they can order me anything I want! I think that it's just the waiting that some people don't like. And if you prefer a larger independent bookstore, the book is also available mailorder from Powell's books in Portland, Oregon. There are links in the sidebar of the Good Mail Day blog.

    Not a plug, just encouragement. Speak up and the indie sellers are usually happy to oblige!


  4. Oh--and THANK YOU for the great review! I'm so, so glad you liked the book! (Especially given your misgivings, which are totally understandable.)


  5. Oooh, the authors even read my blog! I am tickled. Thanks for that indie encouragement, Carolee... now I am feeling a bit of Amazon guilt. Grrrr. But at least I have the book.

  6. Carolee, you have to wait for to ship you your books too. Maybe it's the fact that people have to go back. But you're right, the local bookstore I have will order pretty much everything for me.

  7. I just got my book yesterday, having ordered it from Powell's. It's terrific. It'll be a great resource when I teach my Mail Art workshop again. Plus new ideas for me! I love that the authors included the templates, postcards and stickers at the end (not that I'll use them as they are so nice within the book.) I was pleased to "meet" new mail artists, as well as, see old familiar names. Truly a wonderful addition to my collections. Thanks Missive Maven for posting about this and thanks Jennie and Carolee. I'm going blog about this!

  8. Thanks so much for recommending this book. I wasn't sure if I should spend the money or not but when I saw your review I decided to go for it and am so glad I did. It's great. Love your blog, too. :D