Book Spotlight: 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff

  • Title: 84 Charing Cross Road
  • Author: Helene Hanff
  • Genre: nonfiction/memoir
  • Intended audience: adult (could be read by anyone)
  • Format read: physical book
  • Publisher: Avon Books
  • Pub date: 1970
  • Trigger warnings: none
  • Rating: 4/5 stars

84 Charing Cross Road isn’t a long or complicated enough book for me to do a full review of it, but I did want to feature it because it is undeniably a book for book lovers.

84 Charing Cross Road is an epistolary story of the correspondence between writer and book lover Helene Hanff in New York and the employees of the bookstore at 84 Charing Cross Road in London. It covers their correspondence and eventual friendship over many years as Helene requests books and sends holiday presents to the employees there. Although she is never able to visit London, they develop a deep friendship, rooted in a love of books.

It is a quick and easy read, and incredibly charming. It isn’t an incredibly deep or difficult story, but it all revolves around books, human kindness, and love. I really enjoyed myself while reading 84 Charing Cross Road, it was a pleasant read that was perfect to wind down with before bed. And I do recommend finding a used copy somewhere, because the old book smell really enhances the reading experience. I think that if you are a book lover, you should definitely pick up this charming book.

My only note is do not read the Goodreads summary of the book, because it just summarizes the story. I think all you need to know is what I have already said: a short and sweet epistolary story for book lovers.