84, Charing Cross Road ( Backlist Book Pick)

84, Charing Cross Road

84, Charing Cross Road is a book about books. But it is about so much more. Since it was written in 1970, it makes a perfect book for a backlist book pick

Backlist Book Picks is where we feature older books, books that are not the new releases that everyone is talking about.

With all the new book releases each week, older books often get forgotten on the bookstore shelf. We want to change that by featuring a backlist book each week. 

84, Charing Cross Road by Helen Hanff

I have heard 84, Charing Cross Road described as a love story, and in a way it is, but it isn’t so much a love story between people. This book is more of a story of love and friendship between people who love books. 

And not just any type of books. They are two people who cherish old quality rare books.  

When I first heard about this book, I thought that is was fiction, but it isn’t. Which to a nonfiction lover makes it that much more intriguing. 84, Charing Cross Road is the true story of Helen Hanff, New York writer, and a London used book dealer, who corresponded the years following WWII. 

The author loves old rare books, but can’t find many of the books she is looking for in the bookstores in the U.S. The ones she can find cost more than she can spend. So she contacts a used bookseller in London. 

The author develops a friendship not only with the book dealer, but with his family and the other employees of Marks & Co bookstore. 

They correspondence go back and forth for twenty years. The letters not only share about books but also share about the ups and downs of life and jobs. 

84, Charing Cross Road Book Review

The friendship is based on a common love of books, but it is about so much more than books. I am not usually a fan of books that are just letters, but it works in this book. The letters aren’t just information being passed back and forth, they tell the story of people and their lives. 

If you love books about books or books about friendship or the letter format, 84, Charing Cross Road, is a great read! Have you read it? 

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