Day 982: 84, Charing Cross Road

Cover for 84, Charing Cross RoadIt’s taken me some time to read 84, Charing Cross Road, but I’m glad I did. This very short book, a collection of letters, has been a classic for some time.

The books spans 20 years, beginning in 1949. Helene Hanff, a freelance writer living in New York, writes a letter to Marks & Co., antiquarian booksellers at 84, Charing Cross Road. She has become weary of the shoddy books she is able to afford in New York and asks the booksellers to send her inexpensive secondhand copies of several works. She is duly answered by Frank Doel.

This correspondence moves from formal to friendly. Hanff knows that England is still under postwar austerity measures, so she sends the store employees packages of eggs and meat and other goodies. Soon the correspondence is joined by letters from Frank’s wife and other store employees.

This is a delightful book about friendship between people who have never met. Many of the letters are funny, and the book is particularly appropriate for book lovers.

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5 thoughts on “Day 982: 84, Charing Cross Road

  1. Naomi October 11, 2016 / 11:13 am

    I still have this to look forward to!

  2. Carolyn O October 11, 2016 / 4:47 pm

    I read this as a teenager and loved it. Now I want to revisit it!

    • whatmeread October 15, 2016 / 9:19 pm

      I’m glad I finally read it.

  3. TJ @ MyBookStrings October 25, 2016 / 9:46 am

    I somehow missed this review. Isn’t it the most charming book? It was the first one I read in 2016, and I still get a warm feeling when I think of it.

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