If a 33-year-old man in Manchester, UK, can make a living by blogging about used sheets of stationery, handwritten letters and old lists scribbled in haste, then print (at least its spirit) cannot be dead. Shaun Usher maintains three meticulous, well archived blogs: Letters of Note, Letterheady (letterhead/stationery) and Lists of Note. All three collections “are worthy of a wider circulation” but his Letters of Note is the one that caught the eye of publisher Unbound. A large coffee-table book – 400 pages with 200 letters – will be out May 2013. It’s bound to be one of those books you can’t put down. With notes from Hunter S. Thompson to a film executive that starts “Listen, you lazy bitch…”, William Safire’s note that included a speech for President Nixon to deliver if the Apollo 11 mission failed and the astronauts were lost, and celebrity fan letters from Fellini to Stanley Kubrick and Stanley Kubrick to Ingmar Bergman.
A self-proclaimed curator of correspondence, Usher has a great eye for design and knows good content when he sees it. The marvelously warm-hearted “Damn you all to hell” is one of his most read posts. In an attempt to secure an interview with actor Tom Hanks, Nerdist Podcast sent an invitation along with a 1934 Smith Corona (Hanks is a noted typewriter collector). Tom Hanks used the typewriter to respond and gradually acquiesce.