With the rapid pace of technological change, the old way of struggling to find out-of-print books is a fading memory. Fortunately, the old way has been marvelously preserved in a delightful boovie that also happens to be a true story.
The book is 84 Charing Cross Road. Set in the years immediately following World War II, it chronicles the transatlantic correspondence between Helene Hanff, a New York City booklover, and Frank Doel, a straight-laced British bookseller. The uncertainty and serendipity of the old ways come through with humor, pathos, and love. Published in 1970, the book was made into an equally heart-tugging movie in 1986, starring Anne Bancroft and Anthony Hopkins.
Tight finances and her busy writing life kept Hanff from visiting England. In the end, when she finally does, Doel has passed away and the shop is empty. And so an inefficient yet sweet chapter in the evolution of reading has passed into history as well.
What’s a boovie, you may ask? It’s simply a movie adapted from a book. The conventional practice is to read the book first and then see the movie, but there may be equal (perhaps even greater) merit in seeing the movie first and then reading the book—a reverse boovie.
Now it’s my turn to ask. What are your thoughts about boovies, and those boovies that give one last toast to a way of life that is no longer? Let me know what you discover while pursuing your viewing and reading. Just click on the Comments link below. (If you’re reading this as an email, click here and you'll connect to Comments).