Peruse people’s most intimate moments

Although electronic media have taken voyeurism to dizzying new heights (read: depths), nothing can compare to immersing yourself in the genuine private correspondence between two lovers.

In Other People’s Love Letters: 150 Letters You Were Never Meant to See, former Life magazine editor Bill Shapiro has reproduced actual love letters — found on such things as napkins, computer screens, Post-it notes, and matchbooks — that span decades and the emotional gamut of relationships. Some are vague (“because you’ll try anything once”), some are kinky (“where do you stand on chains?”), and some carry complicated meanings (“I love you more than anyone has ever loved anyone. Now I’m going to shower”), but all have a stark intimacy.

After flipping through a random sampling of densely designed pages, you’ll be hard-pressed not to reminisce about your own life, loves, and losses — not to mention the days of, you know, letter-writing.

BUY Other People’s Love Letters
(Random House; hardcover; 192 pages)

VISIT the Other People’s Love Letters website, where you can send a love letter

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This post is from Observer Short List—an email of three favorite things from people you want to know. Sign up to receive OSL here. Peruse people’s most intimate moments