Learn to Write Conversationally
“The Boron Letters” was a series of letters written by a successful copywriter named Gary Halbert to his son Bond. What’s more is the letters were written from prison, and they primarily share Gary’s life pearls of wisdom ranging from thoughts on how to stay fit, tough, and how to make money.
The book does not spend a tremendous amount of time “teaching copywriting.” And for the most part, the letters get straight to the point on many of the learnable concepts. There is no excess selling of an idea or excessive explanation to make the book longer.
They are straightforward letters of a man trying to connect with and teach his son some valuable life lessons.
While I have personally read many books on copywriting and writing to persuade, “The Boron Letters” had a unique touch. It helped open my eyes to the art of letter writing.
When I told my girlfriend about the format of the letters, she shared stories about how her grandmother used to write like that, and that is just how people who prided themselves in their letters wrote back in the day. That was fun to learn.
Although the takeaways were relatively simple such as take time to run, wake up early, and a few tidbits on how to write good copy, the overall tone of the letters had an impact on me.
Throughout my reading of “The Boron Letters” my biggest takeaway was how to write more conversationally, or how to write to a friend. This is an important skill that might be lost as the art of letter writing takes a back seat to Twitter. However, it does not mean it is any less valuable.
Overall, “The Boron Letters” was a fun quick read that you can pick up and put down between letters which only take a few minutes at a time to finish. There is some actionable wisdom, but more than anything, even if you already know some of the ideas in the book, you could aim to appreciate the style of writing and find a way to apply that to your content.
As someone who reads books like these to gain more in-depth learning, I give the book a personal 3.5 to 4 out of 5 stars. I took some points off because while some books spend too much time explaining ideas, I felt this book spent just a bit too little time explaining how to do the things that were promised.
Think of the importance this way… People are more likely to buy from someone they like.