A good mix tape is like a little chunk of history you can hold in your hand. It's a plastic time capsule, a memorial to who you were and what you were thinking when you wrote out that hand-lettered playlist.
For writer Rob Sheffield, those tapes are a way to keep alive the memory of his wife, Renee. She died unexpectedly of a pulmonary embolism.
His new book Love is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time, tells the story of their relationship in 15 beat-up, old cassettes.
Sheffield is a contributing editor at Rolling Stonemagazine.