Made with love by Emily Ding, an itinerant freelance writer, journalist, and photographer who tells stories about travel, migration, culture, and identity.
What’s Boots & Books?
It’s a newsletter for writers, readers, travellers, and curious hearts about how we carry all the stories we've ever heard with us into the world, and how we make sense of it—hopefully sprinkled with a little grit, humour, and grace.
Some things you’ll read about: my reporting adventures and writing process; my travels, of both the armchair and physical variety; my burrows down rabbit holes of art, culture, history, and ideas; and thoughts on living and being.
My fervent wish is that every letter arrives in your inbox in a flutter of serendipity, and that you find something in it which spurs, tickles, and awes you—in head and heart.
Want to know exactly what you’re signing up for? Read my past letters.
If these words resonate with you, you might like these letters too.
Why Boots & Books?
It’s led by my twin pursuits of adventure out in the world + a vital inner life through the exploration of art, culture, and ideas. Looking out, and looking in. For me, one can’t exist without the other.
Thinking constantly about story angles to pitch editors makes me dream about my teeth falling out. So I’m hoping to tend to this newsletter as a looser, more digressive space for rumination and enthusiasm through the two things that go a long way in defining me and that give me joy. That said, they are also entirely bound up in the work of writing, so it’s inevitable that I’ll be writing about writing, too.
Ansel Adams said:
You don't make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.
You could say the same about writing and travelling.
What readers are saying
“I love welcoming new newsletters into my inbox and this one looks like it’ll be a ripper!” —Erin Cook
“Really enjoyed the newsletter, love the range of content on there, especially the article recommendations, and the quotes you picked out! It made me feel like I was reading an actual newsletter, and I was back in the early 00s, traveling around Asia, when Internet cafes were still a thing, and smartphones were not to be seen. Don’t know why exactly I got that feeling, but it was a golden one.” —Liang Lu-Hai
“She lives the way I can only dream of, chasing stories deep into parts less trodden.” —Florentyna Leow
Been reading? Got something nice to say? Please send in a recommendation.
A few things to note
How often will I receive your newsletter?
It should arrive in your inbox at least once a month. If a letter gets long, I’ll send it in two dispatches instead so it doesn’t get clipped in your email client.
Can I share your letters?
Yes, feel free to forward them on to your friends and family, or direct them to the letters archived online instead. If you’re going to quote or screenshot for a public audience via social media, I’d prefer that you do so from the latter, as I sometimes make minor edits for clarity post-dispatch. Quoting Michelle Williams (just because): “I’m a perfectionist Virgo, constantly qualifying and rethinking”.
By the way, you got something wrong in one of your letters…
Please email me and let me know. This being a personal newsletter, I don't always fact-check with the same vigorousness as I do my formal work, and would very much appreciate a heads-up.
If you got this far…
Many thanks in advance for letting me into your inbox!
I never take eyeballs for granted.
Questions, thoughts, story/travel ideas
All words and media published on emydeewrites.substack.com © 2019 Emily Ding, unless otherwise noted or as common sense dictates. All rights reserved.