Tag Archives: Helene Hanff

Reading: 84 Charing Cross Road, by Helene Hanff

84 charing cross road

I am reading 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff right now, and it’s absolutely delightful.

Delightful is a word I love to use to describe a book, but it’s also not one I get to use that often. The books I usually read tend to toward descriptors like intense or epic (as in fantasy, not awesome, although lots of them are awesome too) or edgy or suspenseful or terrifying (in a good way). (There are better descriptors I’ve used before, but my brain is kind of fogged up right now and won’t cough up any of them.)

But this book is, most definitely, delightful. It makes me want to surround myself with old books, preferably ones purchased in an antiquarian bookstore.

84 Charing Cross Road

I wish you hadn’t been so over courteous about putting the inscription on a card instead of on the flyleaf. It’s the bookseller coming out in you all, you were afraid you’d decrease its value. You would have increased it for the present owner. (And possibly for the future owner. I love inscriptions on flyleaves and notes in margins. I like the comradely sense of turning pages someone else turned, and reading passages some one long gone has called my attention to.)

I thought this excerpt was rather appropriate given my recent interest in marginalia.

84 Charing Cross Road quote 2

And they NEVER read anything a second time so they don’t remember a word of it a year later. But they are profoundly shocked to see me drop a book in the wastebasket or give it away. The way they look at it, you buy a book, you read it, you put it on the shelf, you never open it again for the rest of your life but YOU DON’T THROW IT OUT! NOT IF IT HAS A HARD COVER ON IT! Why not? I personally can’t think of anything less sancrosanct than a bad book or even a mediocre book.

Well, I wouldn’t go so far as to drop a book into a wastebasket, but I do give books away, all the time. Hardcover or not!

It turns out this volume I have contained not just 84 Charing Cross Road, but also The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street. I’m looking forward to this second book too.

Snapshot: February 17, 2015

Time:

Photo of the week: It’s been so cold this past week, I haven’t even thought to bring out my phone and snap pictures when I’ve been out and about. So here’s another Creeper photo (that cat is just so photogenic). Hobbes is the cuddly – and naughty – one, but not nearly as photogenic.

Creeper

 

Feeling: A little tired, even though it’s still quite early in the evening for me. I’ve been getting up a bit earlier the past few days (working my way toward a regular morning ritual – yay!)

Reading: I finished Sacrifice by S.J. Bolton. This was her debut novel, and I really enjoyed it. It was so good, I went and put a hold on her second book before I finished this one.

Sacrifice

I’m also reading Neil Gaiman’s Trigger Warning, Derek Miller’s Norwegian by Night and Helene Hanff’s 84, Charing Cross Road.

It’s been SO nice to have ample time for reading. I started Sacrifice last night and had the luxury of reading right through to the end when I picked it up again this afternoon (it’s that kind of a page-turner book).

Listening: I’m listening to Victims, by Jonathan Kellerman. I thought I’d read all of Kellerman’s books (except the latest, which I’m on hold for at the library) but then I came across someone’s review of Victims and I thought, hey, I don’t remember that plot – I must have missed this one.

But, as it turns out, I had read this one before. I began recognizing bits and pieces of the story once I started listening to it. I still don’t remember the whodunnit part, though, so I decided to just keep on listening. The Alex Delaware novels are kind of like comfort listens for me – I’ve done most of them in audio now.

Writing: I got an idea for a short story the other day, and I’m nearly finished the first draft. I’ve been playing around with titles. I think I might call it “The Devil’s Consort” or “When The Exorcist Arrives”.

Working: Nice and light on deadlines this week! I have an article to write and an index on regulatory law due later this week, and that’s all. I like my work when I’m not going frantic with deadlines.

Creating: Haven’t gotten back to creating a little something every day, but I’ve been thinking about it. Thinking about it counts a little … I think!

Looking forward to: More resting and reading. It’s so nice to know I have downtime between deadlines!