William Shatner has taken a small step, but it’s a giant leap to call him an astronaut

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<span>Photograph: Mike Blake/Reuters</span>
Photograph: Mike Blake/Reuters

Amazing though William Shatner’s short journey into near space was, I think it’s a bit of a stretch to call him an astronaut (William Shatner in tears after historic space flight: ‘I’m so filled with emotion, 13 October). You’ll be calling us letter writers journalists next.
David Edwards Hulme
Stockport, Greater Manchester

• As we seem to have entered a period of pointless “space” travel, can I put forward my qualifications to be the first 84-year-old retired solicitor born in Bishop Auckland with a wife called Shirley and three children to be considered for a trip?
Gordon Hetherington
Great Ayton, North Yorkshire

• Aged actor lifts his carbon footprint to the stars, encouraging others to do the same in the lead up to Cop26. And everyone applauds. What are the chances of keeping climate change below two degrees?
Derek Smith
Forest Gate, London

• Re the article discussing when is it OK to give up on a book (The 20-page rule: how much time should you give a devastatingly boring book?, 12 October), the famous Nancy Pearl system is this: if you’re over 50, subtract your age from 100, read that many pages, then decide. The older you are, the less time you have to waste on a bad book.
Stella Sadler
Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire

• While we’re on the topic of cinema’s greatest duels (Letters, 12 October), I’d like to point out that the origin of the word is the Latin duellum, meaning “war”. It was only a later false connection with “duo” that led to duels being only between two people.
Michael Bulley
Chalon-sur-Saône, France

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