The Husband and I are avid readers and we really love browsing through used bookstores, especially because you never know what sort of treasure you’re going to find. A few years back, I found an original catalog from the 1964 World’s Fair in NYC at a library book sale for $1! (Yes, I’m a true nerd but I really do love these things!)
When we were in London this past summer, we were walking through the Covent Garden and Soho areas one night and stumbled upon a street filled with used bookstores. Of course they were already closed but we made it a point to remember the name of the street (Charing Cross Road) and go back the next afternoon. It was a lot of fun going through the nooks and crannies of each store, walking up and down rickety staircases looking at all of the different types of books. I had recalled there was a book written many years ago called 84 Charing Cross Road, but I didn’t really know what it was about.
When we got home I did some research and found it had been the address of another bookstore, Marks & Co., that is now long gone. The author of the book had a many year’s letter-writing correspondence from her home in NYC with the owner of the store. It was subsequently made into a movie starring Anne Bancroft as the author, Helene Hanff.
I just got the book from my local library and am looking forward to delving into the lives and correspondence of these people from the past. It’s sad the bookstore is now gone, but nice to know it lives on in books!