Book Review: 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
When I first heard popular BookTuber Noelle Gallagher mention this book, I knew it would very quickly become one of my favourites. I didn’t know a lot about the book before I decided to pick it up, but it did not disappoint.
“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.”
I finished this book in a matter of days, but I truly had to fight with myself to put the book down sometimes. I always wanted to be reading it because I immediately felt drawn to the story and attached to the letters , however, I didn’t want to read too quickly because I also didn’t want the book to end.
When reading this book, I saw a bit of myself in Helene at times – a writer who is obsessed with books and loves reading.
I also developed a greater appreciation for having such easy access to books. For the most part, if I want a book I can usually find it at a local bookstore or online fairly quickly. For Helene, this was not always the case. Learning about and acknowledging these differences made me appreciate technology more and also made me more grateful for the books I have been blessed to read so far in my life.
84, Charing Cross Road is a short book and a quick read. Nonetheless, even though we’re only a few months into 2021 I can already see this being one of my favourite reads of the year.
Book cover is from Goodreads.
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