Under the B for Books: 84, Charing Cross Road
Tags: books, correspondence, friendship.
If you’re looking for an objective book review, today is not your day.
I’d like to be objective and solemn, but the truth is I can’t, as I spent the loveliest hour in the company of this book last night, and would recommend it to anyone who loves books.
Years ago I caught a snippet of the movie of the same name, but due to circumstances only got a chance to enjoy one scene – merely a taste. It looked like the perfect rainy day entertainment: an eccentric New-Yorker with a taste for literature contacts a famous bookstore in London with her wishlist of books. Over the course of 20 years she and the gentleman who takes care of her requests become friends, yet never meet.
I added the book to my booklist, and forgot about it until a month or so ago, when I saw a copy of it at the local Chapters bookstore. $19.00 plus tax. Ugh. Maybe next time? There are so many in line before it.
Then, this weekend, while searching through the bookshelves for another book, the darling mum-in-law pulled out the slim volume and asked if I’d like to borrow it. Would I!?
It wasn’t until the end of the book that it finally dawned on me that this wasn’t pure fiction, that these letters had existed and that the warm correspondence between these two souls had been real. Yes, I did fall in love. I’ve already put in a request at my local library for the next available copy of the movie, and hope to enjoy it, with a good cup of tea and a warm cat, on the next rainy day .