84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
This charming classic, first published in 1970, brings together twenty years of correspondence between Helene Hanff, a freelance writer living in New York City, and a used-book dealer in London. Through the years, though never meeting and separated both geographically and culturally, they share a winsome, sentimental friendship based on their common love for books. Their relationship, captured so acutely in these letters, is one that will grab your heart and not let go.
Truthfully I had no idea what to expect when I started reading this book. I found it on a table at Barnes and Noble and figured why not? It sounded cute and I was looking for something interesting in the memoir section. This seemed like a good introduction.
2 hours of reading later and I’ve found an obsession with another world of reading. Why do we seem so intent on writing things as traditional stories? Why can’t I find more books written as letters of correspondence and not just taking a story from a few letters and rewriting it?
I really want to find more novels that get the story across to a reader with unconventional methods, whether they be fiction or nonfiction. What I think I really want is just another 84, Charing Cross Road.
Reading these letters, I feel as if I am now part of an old friendship. I’ve been let in on the inside joke I’ve been itching to understand. I shared chuckles, smiles, and even tears with this book and it was magical.
If you ever find yourself in search of a new read, pick this up . It doesn’t take up much of your time, it’s charming, and it weasels its way into your heart before you know it.
- Have you read 84, Charing Cross Road or anything similar?
- Any books about books recommendations?
2 replies on “84, Charing Cross Road”
It’s been 40 years since I read it, but I think ‘Dear Theo: The Autobiography of Vincent Van Gogh’ is a book of letters between Van Gogh and his brother. I recall loving 84 Charing Cross Road.
Dear Theo sounds really interesting! I will have to find it.
I’m glad to hear you have fond memories of 84 Charing across Road 🙂