Throwback Thursday (07/05/12)

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books!

Noting that book blogging onften focuses on new releases, here’s how Throwback Thursday works:

  1. Pick a book released more than 5 years ago.
  2. Write up a short summary of the book (include the title, author, and cover art) and an explanation of why you love it.
  3. Link up your post at The Housework Can Wait or Never Too Fond of Books.
  4. Visit as many blogs as you can, reminisce about books you loved, and discover some “new” books for your TBR list!

84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff

It all began with a letter inquiring about second-hand books, written by Helene Hanff in New York, and posted to a bookshop at 84, Charing Cross Road in London. As Helene’s sarcastic and witty letters are responded to by the stodgy and proper Frank Doel of 84, Charing Cross Road, a relationship blossoms into a warm and charming long-distance friendship lasting many years. (via Goodreads)

I’ll never understand readers that don’t like movies. Sure, some movie adaptation don’t work so well. Sometimes, they’re better than the book. And sometimes, there are other unintended consequences.

At some point in high school, I was on an Anthony Hopkins kick. I do this. I obsess and watch everything with aparticular actor/actress that I can get my grubby little mitts on. My Anthony Hopkins kick happened in the late 80s/early 90s. Blockbuster, only brick and mortar, could not hold an infinite selection of movies. Good luck on finding a miniscule British movies released in 1987.  There was no Netflix, no Amazon, and certainly no streaming movies (legal or otherwise). What I did have was cable television. Deep weekly study of TV Guide usually turned up a few things I wanted to watch–usually on at 2am. That’s when I first saw 84, Charing Cross Road. At 2am with the sound turned down so I wouldn’t wake my parents. It was lovely and sad and made me happy to be a book lover and a writer. And it was based on a book! Of course, with no Amazon, etc. finding the book was a whole other glorious hunt… But Anthony Hopkins led me to a movie, that led me to a book, that led me to an author I love.

I’m not sure how many times I have read this book. It is collection of letters between Helene Hanff, New York screenwriter, and Frank Doyle, London bookseller. Considering the previous paragraph about how easy it is for readers today to get their reading hit, 84 Charing Cross Road is a story from a different world. Time passes between letters. More event happen “off-screen” than on. It’s a subtle story told in not many words and it still makes my happy to be a reader and a writer.

(Helene would be utterly disgusted by ebooks, I’m sure, but I wish this book were available in e-editions in order to reach a wider audience. While I love books, I love stories more.)

2 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday (07/05/12)

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