Title: 84, Charing Cross Road.
Author: Helene Hanff.
Genre: Non-fiction, books on books, letters.
Publication Date: 1970.
Summary: Told in a series of letters, this is the very simple story of the love affair between Miss Helene Hanff of New York and Messrs Marks and Co, sellers of rare and secondhand books, at 84 Charring Cross Road, London. She first contacted the shop in 1949, and in time, a long-distance friendship developed with an exchange of Christmas packages, birthday gifts, and food parcels to compensate for post-World War II food shortages in Britain. Their letters included discussions about topics as diverse as the sermons of John Donne, how to make Yorkshire Pudding, the Brooklyn Dodgers, and the coronation of Elizabeth II.
My rating: 7/10.
♥ Dear Katherine-
I take time out from housecleaning my bookshelves and sitting on the rug surrounded by books in every direction to scrawl you a Bon Voyage. I hope you and Brian have a ball in London. He said to me on the phone: "Would you go with us if you had the fare?" and I nearly wept.
But I don't know, maybe it is just as well I never got there. I dreamed about it for so many years. I used to go to English movies just to look at the streets. I remember years ago a guy I knew told me that people going to England find exactly what they go looking for. I said I'd go looking for the England of English literature, and he nodded and said: "It's there."
Maybe it is, and maybe it isn't. Looking around the rug one thing's for sure: it's here.
The blessed man who sold me all my books died a few months ago. And Mr. Marks who owned the shop is dead. Bur Marks & Co. is still there. If you happen to pass by 84, Charing Cross Road, kiss it for me? I owe it so much.