84, Charing Cross Road now and again. This true story of a funny, opinionated New Yorker and her 20-year long distance correspondence with a bookseller in London is touching, gallant, and bittersweet, especially in the context of today's digital age and hectic pace.
I've had a copy of the book since I was a teenager, but a few years ago I came across a copy in a secondhand bookstore that I was compelled to leaf through. I'm glad I did, because carefully tucked away in the slim volume were yellowed clippings of The Los Angeles Times marking reviews of the book's 1987 film adaptation. It seemed to me that the unknown person who had so carefully cut out the papers and kept them with their source material must have loved the idea of Helene Hanff and Frank Doel's intellectual love affair very much.
I promptly bought the copy, of course, and you can see in the photographs how the clippings themselves have even yellowed the pages of the book. Some might say it's rather foolish to replace a pristine book for such a worn copy, but I felt an immediate and huge amount of sentiment for the sentiment displayed. And I felt a responsibility to rescue the book, in case some hard-headed businessman swooped down and decided it wasn't fit for public consumption. I was lucky that some person before me had decided it was worth saving...and I'm happy to be its present guardian.