#onthebookshelf Love, Nina- Nina Stibbe & my ode to letter writing

BOOK Book Reviews 12

I love it when you find a book, or read anything really, that makes you remember how much you used to love something.

I read a Jane Casey the other day and it made me miss staying up late to finish a book.  I reread The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and it reignited my forgotten love for hot chocolate, and recently I read Love, Nina and it made me remember just how good letter writing and receiving post is.

Letter writing is something I feel really passionate about. There’s nothing better than rushing about in the morning, running late as per usual in my case, frantically downing a coffee with one of your legs still trying to be nyloned in a pair of Primark tights and then spotting, in the corner or your eye, a pastel coloured envelope plonk through the post.  It’s like a square of rose flavoured Turkish delight has dropped through your door amongst the pizza delivery menus and bills and suddenly the fact you might be running a little late, or haven’t brushed your hair seems really unimportant because you have a letter.

You covet the letter into your bag and jog to the tube station, praying there will be a seat in between a grumpy office worker and an enthusiastic tourist so you can carefully rip open the seal of that envelope and devour every word of the smudged biro hand written letter from your university friend you keep meaning to call or your sister who you miss fighting with.  You want to sit on the tube but feel like you’re sat at your friend’s kitchen table, in your pj’s nursing a cuppa, as she tells you about the string of disastrous dates she’s been on or the fact she bumped into her ex last week or the horrifyingly embarrassing fall she had at work.  You want to be able to hear her cringey embarrassment or unadultered enthusiasm as she describes the new flat she’s thinking of getting or some shoes she bought even though she had no money.

A good letter you read, then reread, then pin on your fridge or use as a bookmark so every time you see it again, it makes you miss the person who wrote it, but also makes your heart crease up with love.

For all those above reasons, I love Love Nina. This book is a collection of letters from an unassuming letter writer who sends snippets of life from N1 to her sister Vic.  She makes every character she describes in her letters so, so human, you really do feel like you’re sat at the wooden table in the kitchen with them. Though you never see the replies to the letters she writes, Nina’s snippets of snail mail are heartwarming and a real testament to why people should pick up a pen again.

Because the second best feeling to receiving a letter is definitely writing one and knowing you’ll be the reason somebody’s morning is a little less rubbish in 2-3 working days.

Buy a copy here

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