Hope you all read novelist Richard Russo's piece in the November 18, 2012 Parade Magazine. If not, click the link and do it! He's nostalgic about his childhood stationery/book store, Alvord and Smith; laments their demise in the modern-day point and click world; however, for him and others, they remain "places of wonder."
If you've not read Helen Hanff's book 84 Charing Cross Road (1970), a true story about a New York writer and a London bookseller and books and friendship you'll still appreciate her comment "I do love secondhand books that open to the page some previous owner read oftenest."
Hanff and bookseller Frank Doel corresponded as Hanff searched for hundreds of obscure books. Hanff postponed visiting her English friends until too late; Doel died in December 1968 and the bookshop eventually closed. Hanff did finally visit Charing Cross Road and the empty but still standing shop in the summer of 1971, a trip recorded in her 1973 book The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street.
Don't you just love it when you find that you and an earlier reader are so wonderfully linked. In fact, it was my good friend Marge who introduced me to the book about30 years ago. She and I were were joined by friendship and a love of books and language.
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