Snow is, next to fog, the most literary of weather conditions. Sleet has no attention span, wind constantly revises, and rain throws everything it writes away. Snow's success in the world of letters can be attributed to its strength as a collaborator. Over the centuries it has worked with many of the world's greatest literary geniuses--all of them, in fact, who have spent enough time at the appropriate latitudes or elevations. But since literary genius is often found huddled near a fireplace, snow works more extensively with professions not always thought of as literary--soldiers, schoolchildren, and cross-country skiers.
Sadly, much of snow's output has been lost, for reasons that should be obvious. What has been preserved is primarily in the polar regions, but many scraps have been preserved by migrating birds, certain satellites, and zephyrs. The collection is kept in the White Library, which has branches in Arkhangelsk, Ellsworth Station in Antarctica (purportedly closed, but accessible to snow-shovelers of 6th level and above), and the shady side of Mt. Everest.
Most works written in snow fall into one or more of three categories, classified as singular collected "books":
1.The Book of Travel. Eloquent in their simplicity, these texts record the movement of beasts and humans throughout history. It was from these works that Mrs. Edith Wallin of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, during a sabbatical from her position as an elementary school secretary, first derived the principle now known as the "First Walker Theory." Wallin had observed the tendency for a succession of persons to scale large ridges of snow by walking in the footfalls of a single intrepid climber. By examining the pages of the Books of Travel for her hometown in the years 1946 to 1992, Wallin discovered that these snow-stiles (as they are known to specialists) always appear in precisely the same spot from year to year, leading her to postulate the existence of a primordial snow-traveler (or travelers) in whose footsteps we are all still walking now.
2.The Book of Names. Recorded using various writing materials--sticks, shovels, mittened hands, and others better left unmentioned (it is perhaps enough to note that a majority of the names written crudely in yellow are male)--this census of the cooler climes is primarily of interest not for the fame of its signatories (few last names are recorded, either because of modesty or a loss of interest) but for the demographic trends it illustrates. For example, the unexpected popularity of the name "Nefertiti" among the Sami people of sixth century Norway, or the fact that in the winter of 1742 the name "Channing" is the only one recorded globally, occurring over 74,000 times. Fans of comic-books may be interested to know that in 1844 the given names of Marvel's Fantastic Four were recorded in mile-wide letters on the surface of Patagonia's glaciers. A few tips, should you choose to add your name to the record: choose an open area, do not attempt a cursive script, and make it large, so that it is clearly visible to birds and satellites.
3.The Book of War. These pages are often in poor condition, worn through to the grass and dirt, stained with red. They are similar to the pages of the Book of Travel in that they show the overlapping movements of men and beasts and vehicles, but the movements in the Book of War are panicked and confused, and few scholars can bear to study them for extended periods. It was in the aftermath of the siege at Arkhangelsk that the White Library was first established, by the ornithomancer Osip Kirichienko. Kirichienko had only managed to save a few of his avian assistants from the city's starving inhabitants; he sent them out to record the battlefield, hoping to create a record that would discourage all future wars. Though Kirichienko's hope was not to be fulfilled, his library still stands, and all branches are open to the general public. Just ask the birds for directions.