Probably never (unless you were born in a different era, in which case, I hope the recipient saved copies, ’cause those babies are RARE, and apparently the stuff that long, weepy movies are made of).
But what about a love EMAIL?
Now, think about the last couple of books you read. Did you love any of those? Did any of your recent reads make you want to run out and read everything else by that author, or recommend that book to others, or — maybe more likely for some of us — study that author’s techniques so we could learn what he/she did that made the book so engaging?
Jump forward in time a bit. Think about your own book on the shelf, published, its cover gleaming in all its bookish glory. Imagine someone taking that book down from the shelf, reading it (even better if they bought it), and loving it. Maybe it changed their life. Maybe it took them away from the stress of the week for just a few hours. Maybe they found they could relate to the main character more than they’d expected.
As an author, wouldn’t it be SUPER INCREDIBLY AWESOME COOL to know how your book impacted that one person’s life?
Now think about those recent, awesome books you’ve read.
Why not write a quick note to the author to tell him or her how much you loved the book, and if you have time, a reason or two why?
Many authors have contact forms right on their websites, making it even easier to do.
Go ahead — write one love letter this week to the author of a book you adored.
After all, we could be (will be!) on the other side someday… and I’m willing to bet that’s just the kind of love letter we’d LOVE to receive.