Why I'll Always Love Snail Mail

Meghan Daum: Email's great, but the real stuff can be 'magical'
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 3, 2011 1:29 PM CST
Letter carrier Kevin Pownall delivers mail in Philadelphia in this March 2 file photo.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

(Newser) – News that the postal service has to cut back even further has Meghan Daum feeling a little glum about her beloved snail mail. "This love affair began decades ago, back when the 'snail' qualifier wasn't necessary," she writes in the Los Angeles Times. She'd sort the mail as a kid and came to love the "sweet ache of anticipation" of the daily haul. "For me, it's the trip to the mailbox, the opening of the lid, the retrieving," she writes.

Email and Facebook are great, but they can't pull off the "magical thing" about the real stuff: "You linger over a letter from a friend; you don't hit delete," writes Daum. "A child cannot sort through a stack of printed e-mails, or the online log, and sense the very outline of her family: This is my aunt's handwriting; these are the magazines my parents have subscribed to for years; this envelope touched my brother's desktop at college; this is who we are." Click to read the full column.

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