Letters To A Friend

Top 5 Books That Inspire Letter Writing

books that inspire letter writing

5 books that inspire letter writingIt is constantly repeated that thanks to modern technologies, writing letters has become a dying art. Is that really so?

We are witness to the fact that many celebrities still practice letter writing as a way to express their most genuine emotions, admiration, and respect.

Plus, instant messages, emails, and tweets lose track of time. It may also happen to you that a message is lost, accidentally deleted, or crashed in a folder.

The letters remain forever. In a box, in a drawer, in the basement, in the attic. They can hardly be lost. Even harder forgot.

I present to you a list of five books that inspire letter writing and will for sure quicken your imagination while writing one. 

Book #1 – ‘The World’s Greatest Love Letters’ by Michael Kelahan 

The world greatest love letters - book

This novel is a collection of private (mostly) love letters written throughout history by some famous figures such as Poe, Barrett, Bonaparte, Keats, Henry VIII, Twain, Shelley, Hawthorne, etc.

Some consider this book to be a phenomenal collection of overwhelmed emotions. Others, however, believe that better organization and more details regarding the relationships among correspondents are needed.

Some letters can be heartbreaking others can make you laugh. Judge for yourself.

As for me, it is a vivid reminder that love was once honorable, delicate, and wonderfully romantic.


Book #2 – ‘Letters of Note: An Eclectic Collection of Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience’ by Shaun Usher

Letters of note - book Shaun Usher is a passionate correspondence enthusiast who is the sole custodian of a very popular website of the same name as his book.

Over the years he was collecting inspiring and unusual letters and eventually published one hundred and twenty-five of them in a book. 

Letter of Note includes letters from Zelda Fitzgerald, Iggy Pop, Fidel Castro, Leonardo da Vinci, Bill Hicks, Anaïs Nin, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Amelia Earhart, Charles Darwin, Roald Dahl, Albert Einstein, Elvis Presley, Dorothy Parker, John F. Kennedy, Groucho Marx, Charles Dickens, Katharine Hepburn, Kurt Vonnegut, Mick Jagger, Steve Martin, Emily Dickinson and many more. 

Book #3 – ‘If I’d Known Then: Women in their 20s and 30s Write Letters to Their Younger Selves’ by Ellyn Spragins

If I'd Known Then: Women in their 20s and 30s Write Letters to Their Younger Selves - bookEditor Ellyn Spragins asked famous women under forty to write letters to the girls they once were, with the advice they wish they’d had when they were younger.

The book includes letters from Hope Edelman, Jessica Alba,  Julia Foudy, Zainab Salbi, Danica McKellar, and Plum Sykes. 

It is a really inspiring book for young teens and women. Many will recognize themselves in the challenges faced by the authors of the letters. It could be an opportunity to learn something new or understand what situations they are currently experiencing in life. 

It is really interesting to write a letter to yourself, for example as advice or wishes. Hide it somewhere we know we’ll be looking for in a couple of years and then read it. Everyone should try this.

BOOK #4 – Between Friends: The Correspondence of Hannah Arendt and Mary McCarthy’ by Carol Brightman

Between Friends: The Correspondence of Hannah Arendt and Mary McCarthy - bookThe most important thing for friendship is support and understanding, the ability to have a healthy discussion, and an open conversation. And that’s exactly what the letters between Hannah Arendt and Mary McCarthy show us.

Between Friends is a collection of epistolary dialogue between two friends which lasted twenty-five years; the two formidable thinkers trade ideas about morality, politics, and literature, but they also share gossip and intimate details.

When one was in trouble, the other would drop everything in order to help.

This is an intimate, honest, intelligent, and fun portrait of two great intellectuals. Especially if you are a fan of the character and the work of the two ladies here, this book will be a real treat for you.

Book #5 – ‘Letters To Milena’ by Franz Kafka

Letters To Milena - book

The book Letters to Milena is a kind of love novel composed of a series of dramatic letters in which the hero (Kafka) is the embodiment of unusual, extraordinary passion; at the same time, it’s a testimony of pain and hopelessness. 

For Kafka, Milena was “a living fire, such as I have never seen.” To her, he revealed the most intimate self.

The letters are full of discord and tension, and passionate tenderness and literary power make them so vigorous and compact.

This is definitely the most intense love correspondence in the world. An irresistible work of life and writing in its original splendor, for eternity.

Kafka was a master letter writer and this is exactly what this novel shows.


I made a list of five books that inspire letter writing, yet there are many more and I will definitely come back to this topic in the future. In the meantime, find inspiration and write letters. Today, tomorrow, always. Tell someone how much you care and make them happy! 




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