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Blog > Masha's Spotlight + Book about Postcrossing!

Masha (aka MMokeeva) is a Russian postcrosser living near Moscow, passionate about books and literature. She stumbled on Postcrossing a few years ago, and has been hooked since then, even opening her own postcard shop, starting a podcast about postcards, and this year Masha even launched a book about Postcrossing, titled “Postcrossing — Book of Secret Knowledge”! It’s a beautiful book, featuring stories about the website, interviews with postcrossers and lots of other postcard-related knowledge and interesting facts. We’re happy to invite Masha to the blog today, to tell us all about how postcards took over her life. 😊

Picture of Masha's book about Postcrossing, surrounded by candles, postcards and other stationery!
Where did your interest in postcards come from? Have you always been a person who liked mail?

“Once I got lost in Moscow. There was a heavy snowstorm. I went to the gift shop to ask where I should go. I was wearing a large bearskin coat that I had inherited from my ancestors. It made me a little clumsy, and I knocked down the postcard rack. The postcards lay like a carpet in front of me, bright and beautiful, with the image of the proud Red Square. And I fell in love with them!”

I would like to have such a fascinating story of happy meeting with postcards, but in fact my story is quite ordinary :) When I was a child, I wrote paper letters to other children. It never even occurred to me to send them postcards, because no one was doing it around me!.. When I got older, I used to buy postcards as fine pictures to put them on the table or use as a bookmark. I started sending postcards just when I found Postcrossing!

How did you come across Postcrossing? What got you hooked?

One day I was looking for a postcard for a gift to my granny and I saw the strange word “Postcrossing” on the website of that online postcard shop. The next day I ran to the post office with my first five cards! I just fell in love with every moment: when you pull out an address, read the profile, view the received and sent postcards… it was like rediscovering the world and the people around.

You even created your own shop selling stationery! How did Amelie Cards get started and how is it going?

I did start it about 5 months after I began to send postcards though Postcrossing. 😊 I was so impressed by this huge postcard world… and I was unemployed. I decided to try to open an online postcard store and printed postcards that I couldn’t find in Russia: with Russian writers, reprints of ads from the Russian Empire, funny “Keep Calm”. Then I started paying more attention to themes what other people need, and so the range expanded! Currently, the most popular sections are the “My Russia” series with atmospheric pictures by independent Russian photographers, illustrations by Russian contemporary artists and quotes from books and movies.

Where did the idea for a book about Postcrossing come from? What prompted you to write it?
Masha lies facing up with the book covering her face

When I became interested in postcards, I was curious: what stories hides behind them? Who creates postcards and why? How do postcards reflect our life? What research and collections exist? What is the situation with postcards in other countries? I couldn’t read about it in Russian anywhere, just some scraps of information. My first attempt to answer some questions was my podcast Открытки Амели in 2017. After 11 episodes, I realized that people are interested in learning more about postcards, but it would be more convenient for them to read about it rather than listen to it. So I wrote a plan for the book and started working on it in my spare time. I was writing a book that I wanted to read myself.


Could you give postcrossers an overview of the book? How would you describe this book to someone who hasn’t heard about it before?

This may sound strange, but this book is for people who want to know the postcard as a person: from all sides. Its character, talents and story of the life. It’s also the book about people who love mail. There are seven chapters: about Postcrossing Project, the text on a postcard, postage stamps, postcards, postal connection, postcrossers and postcard shops. There are also life hacks, dictionary of postcrosser words, and 100 ideas for a postcard message.

I have already received more than a hundred warm reviews that make me very happy. People write that they learned a lot of new things from the book, and that they had registered on postcrossing.com or came back to the Big Game after a long break after reading it!

What was your writing process with this book, and what parts are you especially proud of?
Masha holds the Postcrossing book she wrote in her hands

There was a lot of very diverse work! It was like making stained glass window from different fragments. And it was important to fit these fragments together and make up a beautiful and logical narrative. Besides, I wanted to make this book fun and easy to read. To achieve this ease, I had to rewrite the text several times. This was a very valuable experience for me as for a young writer.

I’m especially proud of the most original parts: where I talk about Postcrossing’s place in the world of ideas (from the ancient Greeks’ letters to the 21st century with its technologies and popularity of danish Hygge); the first mail artist Alexander Asarkan in the Soviet Union for whom creating postcards was a way to make conceptual art in totalitarian state; who and how creates postage stamps in Russia (there’s a very interesting interview with the leading artist of the publishing house Marka, where he tells all the details of creating a postage stamp, who works on them, what their values are and what they think about stamps of other countries); the interviews with unforgettable postcrossers; and my favorite part is about how postcards were published and sold before, how the circumstances and place of postcard in people’s lives changed and how we came to what we have now.

I wrote the book in chapters, in order. When I finished one, I gave it to the artist Maria Vasilyeva and she drew the next part of the comics about the adventures of postcrosser Asya. I’m proud of this cartoon too!

Thank you so much Masha, for taking the time to answer our questions about your book! For anyone interested, “Postcrossing — Book of Secret Knowledge” (in Russian-language only) can be purchased on Masha’s store amelie-cards.ru and soon on Wildberries as well.

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79 comments so far

ctr, Germany
Is there a chance that the book will be translated in the future??? I would like to read it but I only can read german or english.
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floosieQ, United Kingdom
What a fascinating interview. The book sounds amazing! I hope it will be translated into English one day :-)
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djcid, United States of America
I learned about Masha listening to a PodCast called The Postcardist just a few days ago. Its serendipity that she’s featured here. Nice to know more about her. I wonder how many more stories are out there?
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Milatra, Russia
I would love to read this book!
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marinulka_k, Russia
What an interesting interview and a great book!
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ned44440, Ireland
I bought some of Masha's beautiful postcards 😃. She is a real joy to deal with and her cards are beautiful and great quality 👍. I was very happy with my purchases 👌.
I, too, hope that Masha's book with someday be translated into English. It will be a fascinating read 📚.
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ofmetaphorandmelody, United States of America
Yes, desiring that translation! Maybe a crowdfunded campaign so we can sponsor the book? It seems an interesting read!
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Tjoks, South Africa
Such a lovely idea, I would also love to see the book in English.
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BestWishesEric, United States of America
So happy to read about Masha and her book! For any fellow readers of English, I've had good luck Google-translating the text with my iPod as I go!
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Obertas_Yuliya, Russia
Замечательная книга! Очень вдохновляет. Много интересной информации. И очень милый комикс про Асю :)
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MVB38449, United States of America
Nice story.
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mapa, Belgium
Wow, what a lovely story! I would love to read the book in French or Dutch. Hope some translator will make a translation in one of these languages soon! Between French and Dutch I could translate it eventually.
Keep us posted! Good luck with the Russian edition in the meanwhile!
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valeritta, Russia
A wonderful book. Even a postcrosser with experience can learn a lot of new things. I listened to the entire podcast.
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Irina_Bezhina, Russia
What exciting news! I have just ordered the book "Postcrossing - Book of Secret Knowledge" and some postcard on Amelie Cards. Looking forward to receiving the book and the cards! And I would be happy to read the book in English, too.
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Flippie, Canada
I'm hoping that on one day I can buy the book in English.
Thank you for sharing.
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sallyanne, United States of America
Way to take action Masha! I look forward to reading your book!
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Cheryll, Suriname
Your book seems very interesting and clever with so many topics!!
Congrats and all the best with what you are doing!! 👌
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ch_nz, Germany
Nice story! I had a look at the postcard shop, too. Some really nice items. But aren't some of the images (Harry Potter, Friends, ...) copyrighted?
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Destiny62, Belgium
Great idea and story! I hope the book gets translated into English. It made me think about a book I have but forgot all about. It is in Flemish: “Warme wensen voor de koudste dagen, 100 jaar kerst- en nieuwjaarskaarten”, in English: “Warm wishes for the coldest days, 100 year Christmas and New Year cards. It pictures a card and story covering every year from 1900 to 2011. There was an exhibition linked to it which I visited in 2011.
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ALFAVIT, Russia
I liked the title of the book. It sounds interesting and mysterious. Happy New Year holidays and Merry Christmas to all of you!
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amullari, Estonia
Sounds inspiring. Good interview.
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pmsobon, Switzerland
Love to read this book someday in English!
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jeffbh, United States of America
Remind me to never get lost in Moscow, especially if I'm wearing a large bearskin coat.
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shiguzman, Costa Rica
Please, translate it into English!!!
Congratulations, MMokeeva ♥
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avenue, United States of America
This is so cool! Yes, I agree with many other comments, an English version please!
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Postcardist, United States of America
I am so delighted to see this interview. Masha's book is so good. I used Google Translate to read it...and enjoyed every word! Plus, the cards she sells in her shop at Amelie Cards are really super. Thank you for publishing this interview. And cheers to Masha!
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Nique, Canada
Fascinating!
I will definitely buy the book once it comes out in English!!
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Pinky_Pie, Canada
Well done, Mashall!
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drellka, Russia
Thank you, Ana and Masha, for the great and interesting interview! The book is just awesome - I’m 100% sure it will be a bestseller when gets treanslated!
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lanazzey, Russia
This book is really good! Thank you, Masha for your nice job!
I've already read this book and discovered postcrossing on the other side:) I hope that foreign-language postcrossers will be able to read it in English and other languages in the future:)
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Talal90Ahmed, Iraq
cooool
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Brueghel, Germany
Thank you for this very interesting interview.
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mounten, Italy
Hopefully one day this lovely book will be translated into english, would love to read it. Great story Masha!
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Geminiscp, Portugal
I wish translations start soon! Sounds very interesting! Congratulations!
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Luziaceleste, Brazil
This is moment I regret never estudied Russian in my life. But there is always the hope of translation.
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MMokeeva, Russia
Dear friends, thank you so much for your kind words! I'm so happy to read all of these comments! ❤️ You are the best!
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tuesday_ruby, Indonesia
Поздравляю, Маша. Кажется очень интересная книжка. Я бы хотела прочитать ее.
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susandhu, Australia
What fabulous motivating, interesting and positive story! I wish i could read Russian. I hope your book is translated into English - it appears to be a gem too bright to be kept from the world.
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Arielcrazy, United States of America
Masha! I need to learn Russian so I can read this! Maybe I’ll do it with this book. Blessings!!
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orange_memo, United States of America
What a beautiful story, postcards are like an ambassador on our behalf and they can travel thousands of miles away bearing lines and words and stories. As many of my Postcrossing followers already said, I'm hoping to read the book in English.
Thank you for sharing
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Reisefuedli, Switzerland
Loved this interview, thank you so much! Hope there will be a translation of that book, would love to read it!
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kta67, Russia
This book is both interesting and beautiful! I think that readers not only from Russia, but also from other countries, would also be interested in it.
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paradonym, Germany
Does she get an ambassador tag for this? I mean, writing and publishing and selling a physical book in mass-production isn't that self-publishing amazon thing and should be rewarded... That's what the ambassador tag after the username is for I think.
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insomniac4ever, United States of America
Hopefully this booking will be translated into English!!!
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MovSannA, Netherlands
So awesome! Congratulations on your work, Masha! I just received a private message from a girl from Moscow who was reading your book, and I was wondering when you would be featured in the blog, and here you are! I will buy the book, it will be good for my practising Russian!
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igneousidol, United States of America
I would like to read this in English, I might even try to buy it in the original language.
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ChikoKoko, Japan
I would like to read this in Japan.It is really wonderful.
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josephvm, India
I hope she'll translate the book to English.
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Robin67, Austria
What an interesting and wonderful story! ❤️

If I could read/understand Russian, I'd sure get the book!

Russian Postcrossers have the best chance to send me ideal (for me!) postcards, as I am so besotted with Russian Orthodox Churches and (Siberian) tigers! :-)
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NIDUSKA, Finland
Great idea to write 💓💓🍉🐱🐈🐯🦁📕
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wendyquilter, Canada
Great interview! The book sounds fascinating and I look forward to it being published in English so that I can read it.
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Lunushka, Belarus
well done interview, I am interested in reading the book
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harrickson, United States of America
Congratulations on your accomplishments!
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betslets, United States of America
Wow...a book dedicated to postcards and Postcrossing, too. Congratulations, Masha. It sounds, from the comments, that your book needs to be translated into several languages. And, I think there is definitely a market for more editions...maybe a series? How about a film?
Your future looks bright. Enjoy and stay safe.
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Katalpa, Russia
Hello everyone, friends! I have a book by Masha Makeeva! I was very happy to read, I liked everything! I love Masha's postcard shop, I like suites and themes! Masha is great! I wish you success in this matter! Happy New Year and Merry Christmas!!
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alison41, South Africa
A wonderful project. I hope the book is translated into English so more of us can enjoy it. Masha, you're both creative and enterprising.
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Crumblycake, United Kingdom
Well this sounds like a good way to practice reading Russian 😊 I'll have to see if I can find a site that will ship to England!
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Sasalia, Germany
Oh, that Postcrossing/ Postcards-themed book sounds really amazing. What a shame that I can't read russian. :'( Maybe it will be translated some time in the future...
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di_postcards, United States of America
I’m currently reading this book and I’m enjoying it a lot! Hopefully, it will be translated into English soon so more people could enjoy it and get inspired 😊
Congratulations, Masha! So very well done!
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Condukter, Russia
Здорово! Особенно радует, что это наш российский посткроссер!
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greenskull, Russia
I ❤❤❤ Postcrossing!
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beesknees, United States of America
Love this post - congratulations Masha.
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eakins, United States of America
Also hoping for an English translation! What an amazing idea. Congrats on your book, Masha!
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Wakabeee, Japan
Здорово! Я хожу читать ваша кунига по-американский! :)
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Raphaella, Russia
It is really cool book and cool shop!
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Romanticored, China
It's so cool to turn your hobby into a career Masha! Want a English or Chinese version one day! :P
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ranee49, Australia
I would also love to read it but definitely need an English version. I do have fond memories of spending 10 days in Russia in 1975 as part of an 80 day bus trip from Kathmandu to London. The people were so welcoming.
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AutismMom, United States of America
This is so wonderful! Congratulations Masha! I too hope there is an English translation someday.
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JoyceM, Netherlands
I hope the book will be translated in English.
Wonderful creative person you are Masha.
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chris_debian, United Kingdom
I'd also love to read an English translation of the book.
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merryrose22, Canada
Lovely interview with lovely Masha. I, like others, hope the book is translated into English one day as it sounds really interesting.
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SSkelly, United States of America
Where can I purchase this and have it shipped to the US?
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robinmp, United States of America
Your book sounds very exciting!! I would love to purchase one. Is it available in English?

Best Wishes!!!
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bonniegrace, Australia
Lovely story. I also hope the book will be translated to English one day.
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DrummerRinty, Russia
Got it as a New year gift from my mother =) And signed by the author!
Looking forward to read it =)))))))
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Marjie, United Kingdom
Amazing idea to write book about Postcrossing - well done Masha. Can you find someone to translate the book into English? I would love to read it!
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babacine, Algeria
Lovely
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gaukhara, Kazakhstan
What a wonderful book. I read it with pleasure. I think there are many interesting things.
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Natalie2411, Russia
Masha's book is an exciting encyclopedia of postcrossing and a 'must have' for every postcrosser! I hope it'll be translated into many languages. Masha, thank you for your great job!
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