Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Postal Challenge 2014

After much thought, I've decided that I'm going to to host the Postal Reading Challenge again in 2014. With all the depressing news here in Canada right now, about our mail service ceasing door to door delivery and raising our already high postage rates even higher, I think that the idea of handwritten, posted letters needs all the help it can get! I still love writing and receiving mail, and reading about it as well. I hope that some of you will join me in this year's reading.



The rules will be much the same as the first go-round...

What is the Challenge?

The key is to read and review books with a postal theme. These can be non-fiction on the subject of letter writing, collections of real letters, or epistolary fiction of any era. Be creative! Review each one and link back to the challenge -- there will be quarterly roundup posts for you to link reviews and posts to as you create them.

The challenge runs from January 1st, 2014 to December 31st, 2014.  You can sign up ANY TIME throughout the year.

Any books chosen can overlap with any other challenge, and rereads are allowed. Just remember to review them somewhere online in order for them to count toward the challenge. Lists don't have to be made in advance, though feel free to share your choices and inspire other readers if you wish! I always think that making lists is half the fun :)


How do I join in?

There are a few ways to participate in this challenge. 

Postcard Level:   Read and review books with a postal theme.

Snail Mail Level:   Read and review 8 books with a postal theme.

Parcel Post Level: Read and review 12 books with a postal theme.

Air Mail Express Level:   Read and review 12 books with a postal theme AND commit to sending more old fashioned letters this year. At least 12 pieces of mail (or more!), and you can share numbers or even images of your mail art in the quarterly roundups.


Anyone who completes the challenge at any level will have their names thrown into a draw to win some letter-related goodies at the end of the year. In addition, if you complete the Air Mail Express Level, you'll get a chance to win a lifetime membership to (and some goodies from) the Letter Writers Alliance!


Need ideas about what to read? Check out the links at last year's sign-up post, or scroll through some of the epistolary titles that were reviewed in 2013.


To join in, sign up below. If you aren't a blogger, just add a comment. How to add your link: 

1. Click on the icon below
2. Add a link to your sign up post or your overall blog/tumblr/Goodreads page, etc., if you are just joining generally for now


37 comments:

  1. I hadn't heard about the Canadian postal service deciding to stop door-to-door delivery. How terrible! How will you get your mail then? The US postal service tried to stop Saturday delivery last year but Congress overruled it. Postage rates are inching up, especially for packages going overseas. It's a real shame since it's starting to verge on prohibitive and when it reaches that point no one is going to want to use the postal service. I feel bad for postal services everywhere though, they are stuck between a rock and a hard place.

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    1. Stefanie - I agree with all of that! They are going to phase out home delivery and switch it to community mailboxes everywhere -- urban as well as rural where they already do that. I'm not sure how it will work, but I am sad that we'll no longer be gathering up letters from the front door :(

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  2. I really wanted to join this year's challenge, but knew it would be a bad idea because I probably wouldn't be able to complete it. I think I could risk if for 2014 though, so I'll write a post and sign up when I've done it. How awful not to get your letters delivered to your door, I would miss my chats with the postie!

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    1. Great! And I believe in relaxed challenges -- no pressure to complete if you just want to read along as possible :)
      I know, I will miss visiting with and getting to know the posties. So many jobs lost as well, very sad.

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  3. Where's your mail doing to *go* then?! So weird.

    I'm thinking I might join some challenges again next year, and this one is very tempting! I think the only letters I've read were Flannery O'Connor's.

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    1. Instead of delivery at the door it will go to Post Office boxes either at the post office or at other locations in the area. This is all ready happening rurally. When we moved we had three options for where to get our mail: One on the side of the road, one outside of a community centre, and one at a store.

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    2. 3 options! But I wonder where they will put community mailboxes in urban settings that are accessible and secure, or, which post office will possibly have enough boxes for everyone -- I guess we'll have to see what happens.

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    3. Oh, and Eva, I hope the temptation to join in will prove too strong for you...letter reading is such fun ;)

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    4. I will be curious to see what they will do. The thing is they are going on about it on the news and saying that older people need to receive funding to get someone to get their mail for them... Older people live in rural settings and, well, do they get funding?

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  4. Yeah... My mother and her significant other both are retired from Canada Post. What a mess going on right now. :( As I commented yesterday, I am in! I just have to figure out what to read... :)

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    1. It is a mess! But let's do our readerly part to support the post :)

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  5. It is terribly sad... I will be curious to see what comes of the emergency session of Parliament they're holding tomorrow to chat with Canada Post's CEO. I think there's a big argument to be made that community boxes aren't just inconvenient for some people, they're totally inaccessible... and the way the world is, people still need to have access to snail mail.

    (I love the stuff myself. I've been sending out Christmas cards like a madwoman this year; my own little private war to keep the post in business.)

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    1. I agree that community mailboxes are not intuitively a good idea. And the logistics! I had missed the news about the emergency session -- hope that sthg good comes of it.

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  6. Signing up for this one (saw it on Kailana's blog). I'm going for Snail Mail level. Can't wait to get started in the New Year.

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    1. Welcome and glad to have you along for the challenge!

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  7. Glad to see you are doing this again. I'm looking forward to it, and found something that may help me in sending off those pieces of mail to others. I've mentioned it in my signup post.

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    1. Thanks for joining in once more -- I love your idea for sending out mail!

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  8. Hi, I've been signing up for challenges like crazy. I couldn't resist this one however. Sounds like a great theme to read about. I'll go for the first level, but I may go past that, depending on what books I can find. This will be my first time at this challenge.

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    1. Glad to have you with us! I always love trying out challenges each year, so I hope you'll enjoy this one.

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  9. I love the idea of this challenge. Hopefully, I'll be able to do all of the "required reading"! :)

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    1. I'm sure you'll make it. It's fun just trying, anyway :)

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  10. I decided to aim for Air Mail Express :) Even if I run out of steam, it'll be a blast to make the attempt.

    Thank you so very much for hosting!

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    1. You're welcome -- thanks for joining in and setting the bar high ;) I'm sure you'll have fun working away at it, and that's the hope for all of us!

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  11. I am joining in too--only I am an American and I am doing it to support the USPS. Oh. And did I mention I am married to a wonderful mail carrier?
    I just did my sign up post and am looking forward to the reading. I also added a little extra to my level of choice, Post Card--to help generate some actual mail. Thanks for hosting this great challenge.
    xoxoxo
    my post: http://pageafterpage-kim.blogspot.com/2013/12/epistolary-fun-for-2014.html

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    1. Good luck with your goal of 24 letters! And thanks for signing up, I'm sure all of us see our postal services declining these days, sadly enough.

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  12. I have just signed up and am looking forward to this challenge, I have posted on my blog and hope to make Snail Mail level with dreams of Air Mail Express dancing in my head. Thanks for this challenge http://debsletters.blogspot.com/2013/12/ringing-in-new-year-with-reading.html

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    1. So happy to see you joining us this year! Always good to aim for the top :)

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  13. Thanks for hosting again, Melwyk! I didn't make it past Postcard level in 2013, but I'll aim for Airmail Express anyway. Or maybe at least sending a real letter for every book of letters I read. Happy New Year!

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    1. Postcard Level is a great start! Now for a few more in 2014. I like the idea of one book = one letter :)

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  14. Thank you so much. I love this idea since I love letters and cards. I love both sending and receiving them and also reading epistoloray novels. Looking forward to many many ideas. My blogpost and future list is here.

    Will keep in touch. Have a nice day.

    Marianne from Let's Read

    Oh, yes, and I am trying for the Air Mail Express Level.

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    1. Going big with your challenge, I like it! ;) So glad you found us, and look forward to having you read along.

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  15. I'm a U.S. reader, long-time appreciator of epistolary novels, looking forward to adding more this year. This sounds like an enjoyable way to find new recommendations. Trisha

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    1. I agree, it's always fun to see what everyone discovers -- always something new to read next :)

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  16. I am going all out with the Air Mail Express Level challenge!

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  17. Welcome to the challenge! And congrats on starting your new blog; I think you will find it very enjoyable as so many of us do :) Look forward to all your reading conversations!

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  18. Hi, I started at the Post crd Level, but bumped up to Snail Mail. However, I decide to stop after that and am posting my wrap-up post below. This is as much as I want to read for this year. Will try to do it again next year :-)
    http://jannghi.blogspot.com/2013/12/postal-challenge-2014.html

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    1. Hi Jamie, thanks for sharing your link plus reading along! I've kind of petered out on my own challenge!! Will have to post a roundup link fest for us all at some point, though.

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Thanks for stopping by ~ I hope you will leave your comments and reflections to let me know what you think!