A handwritten note has always signified meaning and thoughtfulness. And today, among a sea of e-mails, they mean that more than ever.

A handwritten note has always signified meaning and thoughtfulness. And today, among a sea of e-mails, they mean that more than ever.

"People still like to keep in touch that way and send something pretty," stationery store owner Brooke Addison said. "We had one woman who called a really nice card 'a thin gift.'"

Her shop, Peabody Papers, gets most of its business during the Christmas and wedding seasons. But all year round, people like to send handwritten notes that stand out among plain old e-mails, she said.

That doesn't mean they're familiar with how to craft a meaningful message, though.

For those who ask - and there are plenty - Addison points them to her collection of reference books, which she lends out. Or to The Bride's Thank-You Note Handbook on one of the front shelves, which spells out sample thank-yous for everything from bath towels to gravy boats.

"It's definitely hands-on here," she said. "You do have to guide people."

Peabody Papers - which announces it's open by sitting a white mailbox outside on the Grandview Avenue sidewalk - first opened 10 years ago. In that time, Addison's made wedding invitations and, later, birth announcements for plenty of the same families.

Lots of card choices for any and all events sit on shelves along the store's side walls. They can be ordered in any quantity and completely customized - the staff is happy to create a design, as well as to send someone home with computer-printer directions.

"Invitations have gotten a little less complicated, but beautiful at the same time," she said. "When we first opened, they had ribbons and bows and trifolds, and they were a little confusing for people."

Many of the store's boxed and single cards are from Crane & Co., a line with embossed motifs and lined envelopes. She also carries card lines from two local artists.

All-purpose giftables sit near the related card sections - candles with the Mother's Day display, frames by the thank-yous, blankets and bowls by the baby announcements. There's a display case of quality pens, and Addison sells plenty of reprinted vintage Ohio State program covers as framed gifts.

Filofax planners are one of the store's ongoing specialties, and decorative journals abound. Addison's been getting in more and more recycled options, she said, and there's also a host of cute desk supplies: ladybug pushpins, a rooster stapler and butterfly scissors.