84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff, 97 pages
themed reading challenge, another from something about me
Way back when, historia picked this as one of her Something About Me books because: Because I love reading anything about books - and I absolutely LOVED the movie. There were several glowing reviews at the blog by everyone who read this. I bought this one, big decision for me since it is a slim volume, to read for the Themed Reading Challenge, books about books.
What a delightful little collection! I didn't realize it was nonfiction until the end; I'm such a twit. Helene Hanff, a NY writer, begins a correspondence with a Marks & Co. in London. This book demonstrates a different time, before instant communication and was very charming. Helene would ask for a book, and they would find it and send it. Then, she would send a few dollars cash in the mail. They scrupulously kept track of the cents in credit and debit. Helene develops a relationship with the company, sending lots of packages to help the Brits through post war rationing. Travel was much more difficult in those days, as it is hard to imagine today she wouldn't just jump on a plane and hop over the pond to meet them.
It was also a different time in books and publishing, as Hanff was looking for books of letters and collections of essays, and specific editions of books. Or it just may be there is a whole world of book collectors that I am not familiar with at all. (seems more likely) I am also reading Remains of the Day right now; I am having difficulty adjusting to the 21st century since my reading life is decidedly early 20th century England. Both books would be excellent for Anglophiles with delightful slices of life in England.
If you enjoy books about books, or England, or need a quick read, you could try 84, Charing Cross Road. And there is also a movie? I must look into that.