When did you last receive a hand-written letter? How many do you receive a month compared with the avalanche of needless texts and snap emails. Something the author had made a point of setting aside proper time to write? ‘Letters have the power to grant us a larger life,’ Garfield says. ‘They reveal motivation and deepen understanding. They are evidential. They change lives, and they rewire history. Simon Garfield’s To the Letter charts the history of the written letter, from the slivers of birch used by Roman soldiers to the arrival of email. Shaun Usher’s bestselling Letters of Note is a collection of over 100 of the most entertaining, inspiring and unusual letters – from Virginia Woolf’s heart-breaking suicide note to Gandhi’s appeal for calm to Hitler – based on the seismically popular website of the same name.