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Charing Cross Road 84

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4.14  ·  Rating details ·  64,189 ratings  ·  9,822 reviews
Een vriendschap in brieven tussen Helene Hanff uit New York en de medewerkers van Marks & Co, een antiquarische boekhandel op Charing Cross Road 84 in Londen.

In de late jaren '40 van de twintigste eeuw leest Helene Hanff een advertentie waarin staat dat de Londense boekhandel Marks & Co gespecialiseerd is in boeken die niet meer in druk zijn. Alles wat zij zou willen hebbe
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Hardcover, 136 pages
Published December 2015 by Rainbow (first published January 1st 1970)
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Sandy Millin In old books, several pages were printed on a single sheet of paper and the reader would have to cut (separate) the pages themselves. You can read mor…moreIn old books, several pages were printed on a single sheet of paper and the reader would have to cut (separate) the pages themselves. You can read more in number 5 here: http://wwword.com/1585/words/jargon/r... A page cutter is a special tool for this, but I think a paper knife was used a lot from what I've just read. I can't seem to find a picture of a page cutter.(less)
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) Nonfiction. It's a collection of real letters written by real people. On paper. Sent through the mail, in envelopes.…moreNonfiction. It's a collection of real letters written by real people. On paper. Sent through the mail, in envelopes.(less)
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Average rating 4.14  · 
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 ·  64,189 ratings  ·  9,822 reviews


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Jeanette (Ms. Feisty)
"If you happen to pass by 84 Charing Cross Road, kiss it for me? I owe it so much."

This was my second reading of the book, and I'm adding a star to my original rating. I laughed a lot harder this time, and even got a little choked up near the end. I don't recall this much chortling, cackling, guffawing and snorting on my first time through. The contrast between Helene Hanff's brash American informality and Frank Doel's staid British professionalism is delightful. There's a certain charm in his p
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Brina
Apr 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: letters, novella
As a child, I loved writing to pen pals. Anywhere I went that offered a chance to sign up to be a pen pal, I did with earnest. None of the pen pals ended up amounting to much, but it was thrilling to receive letters from them in the mail. I come from a line of pen pal writers as my mother wrote to an English girl her age for her entire childhood and teenaged years. It is not surprising then, that I one of the first books I reviewed on goodreads was Foreign Correspondence: A Pen Pal's Journey fro ...more
Lisa of Troy
84, Charing Cross Road is a book which contains selected correspondence between a New York book lover in New York City (Helene Hanff) and a used bookseller in London (Frank Doel). The correspondence starts in 1949 and lasts for 20 years.

This book started off strongly as the reader is a voyeur into the lives of Helene Hanff and Frank Doel. The love and enthusiasm that Helene Hanff oozes for literature is almost palpable and highly contagious. She also tries to help her favorite British bookstore.
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Glenn Sumi
After hearing about this book for years, I finally stumbled upon a $2 ex-libris copy earlier this week at a used book sale. And without pausing I bought it. How appropriate!

It consists of the correspondence, from the late 1940s until the late 1960s, between New York writer and bibliophile Helene Hanff and Frank Doel, an employee at Marks & Co. Booksellers at the eponymous address in London.

Hanff was a voracious, eclectic reader who couldn’t find good American editions of the books she wanted t
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Olive Fellows (abookolive)
Click here to hear my thoughts on Helene Hanff, this book, and all her other books over on my Booktube channel, abookolive!

abookolive
First read in November 2019. Reread on New Year's Day 2021 and loved it even more than the first time I read it! 😭❤
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Luffy
The epistolary meanderings of Helene Hanff and Frank Dole are insightful, playful in their coyness, and progressive in their development. This is an actual correspondence gone awfully right.

There is a starkness of honesty in this correspondence. Yet the prose in the letters aren't quite as dry as might be feared. Like I said, the back and forth is progressive. There is definitely life in these letters.

This real occurrence happens after the second world war(the last three words of which is a fav
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Regina
Sep 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I often jump straight to the down and dirty of a book, but please allow me to shake things up by presenting the lithe and lovely.

- 84, Charing Cross Road is an absolutely delightful epistolary memoir made up of letters exchanged between NYC-based author Helene Hanff and an antiquarian bookseller in London.

- It was published in 1970 and contains twenty years of correspondence that began in 1949 - a time when London was still dealing with post-war rationing and, to state the obvious, the internet
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Angela M
Nov 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Letters, literature, friendships, kindness and humor fill the pages of this small volume. It's a gift from Helene Hanff to anyone who loves books. Not much more I can say except that all book lovers should read it .

Long distance friendships and books - a lot like Goodreads .
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Julie G
Interestingly, I have just read two books in a row for my 1970s reading project that were published in the 1970s, but took place at an earlier time. It feels, to me, a little bit like cheating, but they were popular books in the 70s, regardless, so here I am, reviewing another one (accidentally).

And, fittingly, this non-fiction story, compiled like an epistolary novel, reminded me of a memory I have from the early-mid 1980s, so let me misbehave, for a moment, and cheat on my beloved 70s with ano
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Tina
I've always adored this movie so I decided to listen to the short audio. It was such a delight!

A book that was originally published in 1970 about a twenty year letter correspondence (1949-1969) that turned into a sweet friendship.

Helene Hanff lives in New York City and is a writer and lover of old, out of print books. She contacts Marks & Co. an antique bookshop in London about a book she is looking for. The head buyer, Frank Doel responds and sends her the book. They begin to correspond and Hel
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Candi
It’s about time I finally cracked this charming little book open. I’ve had it sitting on the nightstand for nearly a decade. A tribute to bookstores, booklovers, and England, this epistolary novel delivered exactly what I expected it to! If Goodreads hadn’t already confirmed what I suspected, namely that I’m not the only soul in the world with a book reading and book collecting obsession, then Helene Hanff’s experience would have offered the proof I needed. Her letters written from a small apart ...more
©hrissie ❁ [on studying hiatus till June]
There is something about a letter correspondence between two book lovers that never gets old. My heart, wistfully content and overflowing upon reading 84, Charing Cross Road, testifies to this.

Texting and emailing these days - it is just different, isn't it? The corporate, capitalistic, hypertech world we live in has, in some respects, sucked aliveness out of the things it promises to enhance: networking and uninterrupted presence.

This is not to say that Hanff's letter assemblage necessarily mak
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Terrie Robinson
"84, Charing Cross Road" by Helene Hanff is an Epistolary Historical Non-Fiction treasure!

Letters exchanged between writer Helene Hanff and bookseller Frank Doel (rhymes with 'Noel' just in case you were curious!) She lived in New York City and was a lover of old out-of-print books. He lived and worked in London as an antiquarian at MARKS & CO. at 84, Charing Cross Road.

A book containing nothing other than letters that traveled back and forth across the pond started in 1949 and continued for 20
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Esil
Nov 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
An easy 5 stars!

I listened to this lovely short audiobook. It's completely charming. The voices are perfect. And in an odd way it reminded me of what I love about Goodreads. Strangers connecting over their mutual love of books. Slowly the book focused repartee morphs into a real sense of affinity and frienship.

A bit of warmth to ease the dark cold days of November. A nice relief from the miserable state of world politics.

I'm late to this party, but I highly recommend it -- especially the audio.
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Diane S ☔
Feb 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved every single page of this wonderful little novel, told in letters. The lost art of letter writing, but amazing how much we can tell of the relationship between the author in New York and a bookstore in London. Requesting books to be sent to her she makes the acquaintance of Frank Dole, his wife, his neighbor and other employees of the bookstore. Starts out as a purely business relationship we can tell letter by letter as they become more friendly, discussing their families, friends, jobs a ...more
Annet
Feb 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful, sincere and humorous correspondence between a writer in New York (Helen) looking for unique books all the time and having them shipped over from Europe and a bookstore manager in London over the years.... Fun, nostalgic read with a smile.
Jean-Luke
Sep 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
March 16, 2020,

Dear HH,

America (and possibly the world) has gone mad. Rationing is a word that would get you a black eye if you mentioned it while waiting in today's mile-long line at the supermarket. You would think Armageddon is upon us from the carts and carts of groceries people are pushing to their cars, leaving the rest to scrape the broken eggs from the floor in aisle Nine, where that fight between two shoppers just took place. (The carnage would surely have been much greater if toilet p
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Trevor
Aug 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
I love this book and love the film they made of it too. It is sloppy and sweet and warm and, you know, just right. It is the sort of book one could read in an hour or two over a pot of tea on a cold winter's afternoon and just enjoy. Pure delight.

If you needed to be reminded that love of literature is as good a foundation of love of the world as any other 'religion', that the people we write to can be closer and dearer to us than those we see day after day - then this really is a book written to
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Kalliope



Dear Mila,

When you gave me the large and heavy cubic box as my Christmas gift, with the red ribbon on top, I could not believe my eyes. What on earth had crossed your mind to offer me such a striking gift? And my wonder expanded as I opened it and realized the reason for the size. It was fool of a variety of goodies.

There was on top another parcel, a light one this time, of a round shape. When I unwrapped it, I had in my hands a Klein blue hat, in the shape of a 1920s bell. The colour of my coat
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Paul
May 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: letters
This book is a complete delight. It is not a love story or a romance, but a series of letters between two book lovers from the late 1940s to the late 1960s. Helene Hanff is a lively and outspoken New Yorker who is unable to get hold of decently bound books, especially older and slightly more obscure ones. She answers an ad and contacts Marks and Co at 84 Charing Cross Road. There Frank Doel, a very proper English bookseller responds and starts to find and send her books from the lists she sends. ...more
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
I teared up a bit there at the end ...

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
ij
This memoir was a great read. It consisted of letters primarily between Helene Hanff, the author, and Frank Doel, an employee of Marks and Company, Booksellers. The title of the book 84, Charing Cross Road was the address to the bookshop, in London. The letters started on October 5, 1949 and continued back and forth for almost twenty (20) years.

In the first letter, Ms. Hanff describes herself as a “poor writer with an antiquarian taste in books.” These books she thought to be too costly in New
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Elyse  Walters
May 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received this book in the mail (a surprise gift) -- so I read it 'on the spot'.

The book is only about 100 pages long --but a charming read (one I'm glad I read).

This is an older book (first published in 1970)....The year I graduated High School.

The author Helene Hanff, a freelance writer was living in New York City. She spent twenty years corresponding to a used book dealer in London. (they did not do this over the internet). ***SLOW MAIL***!
Though never meeting in person, they shared a comm
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Piyangie
Mar 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This is an epistolary book that contains the correspondence between Helen Hanff, an American scriptwriter, and Marks & Co., a London second-hand book store at 84, Charing Cross Road. The chief correspondent on behalf of Mark and Co. is Frank Doyle and this correspondence continues faithfully for nearly two decades until the death of Frank.

The letters are charming and very interesting to read. They provide an insight into the friendship between Helen and Frank. It begins with a shared interest i
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PattyMacDotComma
Nov 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
5★
If you love books and letters, this is the book for you! People have been interacting kind of anonymously for a long time, without dating apps or the internet. I used to handwrite letters back and forth to friends I seldom saw – now it’s emails and posts, but same banter, bluster, shared triumphs and tears.

This is the most charming, funny, and touching book about a 20-year, long-distance correspondence which starts out as a relatively simple book order. Helene Hanff, a New York writer herself
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Dem
May 07, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An endearing little book and quick and easy read. I enjoyed it but not one for my favourite shelf.

I have wanted to read this book for years as it has such amazing review and I just never came across a hard copy but found an audible version and went with that. Not sure audible is the best format for a book where the content is a series of letters back and forth as they performance seemed quite repetitive. However I do love the “ old snail mail” format and have just one Aunt who still correspon
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Sara
May 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Why is it that people who wouldn’t dream of stealing anything else think it's perfectly alright to steal books?

Now there is a question I would like to have answered. It comes from the correspondence of Helene Hanff, and it speaks to her love of books and her cheeky relationship with the man in receipt of her letters.

The lovely correspondence of Helene Hanff, a New York bibliophile, and Frank Doel, a British bookseller, with occasional letters from others thrown in to round out the story, takes p
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Britany
I've known about his little gem for so many years, waiting for a special moment to finally dive in. I just love books filled with mementos and letters. I grew up sorting cards and old mail at my grandmother's house to the PostMan Books and now a grown up letter book. Helene Hanff is an American writer desperate to fill her reading dreams with editions of books she has trouble finding in the US. She starts a correspondence with an English bookstore.

I ate up this book like a cat with a bowl of cr
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Melisa
May 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lovely. Charming. A book lover’s book.
Laysee
Feb 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
84 Charing Cross Road chronicles a beautiful twenty-year relationship between an American reader of antiquarian books and Marks & Co. Booksellers, London. The latter ‘is the loveliest old shop straight out of Dickens’. It has very old grey oak shelves that smell of age and dust going up to the ceiling. This epistolary book contains the correspondence from 1949 to 1969 between Ms. Helene Hanff, a penurious writer who loves antiquarian books, and Frank Doel, the knowledgeable and efficient booksto ...more
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Helene Hanff (April 15, 1916–April 9, 1997) was an American writer. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, she is best known as the author of the book 84 Charing Cross Road, which became the basis for a play, teleplay, and film of the same name.

Her career, which saw her move from writing unproduced plays to helping create some of the earliest television dramas to becoming a kind of professional New Y
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Articles featuring this book

Did you set an extremely ambitious Reading Challenge goal back in January? And has this, uh, unprecedented year gotten completely in the way of...
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“I do love secondhand books that open to the page some previous owner read oftenest. The day Hazlitt came he opened to "I hate to read new books," and I hollered "Comrade!" to whoever owned it before me.” 253 likes
“I love inscriptions on flyleaves and notes in margins, I like the comradely sense of turning pages someone else turned, and reading passages someone long gone has called my attention to.” 203 likes
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