Friendship Books and Slams

I used to have penpals when I was in secondary school and in college. It gradually stopped when I was in university. The one thing that made me happy was receiving letters and admiring stamps from other countries. It was nice to have a mailbox full of letters!

One day, I was sent a few Friendship Books by a penpal.

She explained to me what I had to do.


If I was interested, I had to write my address, age and interests. This is to enable future recipients to browse through them and if they were interested, they would write to you asking whether you’d like to be penpals.

After putting my details, I would then send it to another penpal and tell her to do the same.

A slambook was also a favourite to be passed around together with FBs.

A slambook is like a survey, with a question on each page. Here, you can tell that the last person who entered her answer was me. Hehe. Guess what song did i put?

Behind the FB or slam, the creator or owner would put this message at the back, just remind the last person to return it to the owner. Sometimes, there are people who don’t want to be last to avoid incuring postage, so they’ll just send it over to the next person.

It’s like chain mail, isn’t it?

Throughout my penpalling years, I learnt so many abbreviations like NPW, AVF, SNNP …. which means New Pals Wanted, Answers Very Few, Sorry No New Pals.

I would get very excited to receive some FBs returned to me, too! Once, I received a half-filled one, because the person who returned it to me wanted to be my penpal. Yikes. He could have written to me first while passing the FB on!

A good description of FBs, slams and others is available here.
Now that i’ve found my old letters, I feel terrible that these FB and slam owners may have been waiting for their return. Oops. It’s been almost 5 years, and I don’t have anymore penpals to forward them, too. Neither are my friends overseas interested. Looks like I may have to throw them away.

21 thoughts on “Friendship Books and Slams”

  1. omg at last!!!!!!!!! fuhyoh..hahahahhaha
    don’t throw them away. keep for memories. If you say “iyah, no need oso can remember wat” keep in mind there will be a time where all of us will forget eveything..

  2. i have penpals too, but i never knew all those abbr…interesting fact, i never knew all these friendship books existed..

  3. piffles: No More Love Letters??Ask Xes write u 1 then,kekeke!!
    Bimbo: damn bad lar u,throw them away for wot, old news paper lar,recycle ma…^.^

  4. xes: yeah… stamps. I used to have a penpal from Austria… and she collect stamps too. Man, I got a lot of nice Austrian stamps.
    bimbo: the friendship book was nice. U paid a fee for the names and adresses? Btw, who the hell is that slammed Oasis’ DOnt Look Back in Anger? Can I have his/her address. Wanna send hate mail to him/her for dissing Oasis.

  5. oh, you don’t have to pay for anything. you just write to whoever you see in there, and they may write back. except that they may make you swap more FBs and all.
    but it doesn’t matter, can just pass it on to someone else.

  6. At this age, i dont hink so. Well, i dont know. Kids nowadays have PS2/3, emails, blogs etc…. who still wanna snail mail?
    But getting a snail mail from oversea is much more satisfying than getting an email. Really.
    I still keep in touch with my Austrian penpal in email. The Jap girl lost contact. Thats all.

  7. I have a bunch of pen pals from other countries all over the world…they’re all new because I only had a local pal. I hope to get a friendship book one day… you should keep them or send them away

  8. hi bimbobum im doing a project based on pen pals for uni and i was wondering if you could give me a little insight to the whole pen pal and a rough idea wot kind of things you wrote about wen u were in high school

    i would love it if u could get in touch thanks


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