The Private Letters of Booklovers

84, Charing Cross Road book coverMiss Helene Hanff loved books – old, beautiful, rare books. Unfortunately, she was a struggling New York writer and couldn’t afford to buy any. That is, until she found Marks and Company through an ad in the Saturday Review of Literature. 84 Charing Cross Road is a collection of the correspondence between Helene Hanff and the employees of the London antiquarian bookshop Marks and Company, especially Frank Doel, the shop’s manager. What starts with a single letter of Hanff’s, requesting out-of-print but affordable books, turns into a twenty-year friendship across the Atlantic. When you finish this true, charming, and fast read, watch the lovely movie adaptation starring Anthony Hopkins and Anne Bancroft.