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April 09, 2008



It is interesting that you should mention one of my favorite books. I have read all of the Helene Hanff books and when "84 Charing Cross Road" was first published I read it over several times. For a time Ms. Hanff graciously corresponded with this very young writer, until her life became too busy.

I have the movie in my own collection and have watched it many, many times. (Few people realize that Dame Judi Dench played Mrs. Doel.) I also have all of her books in my extensive library, plus she led me to many other authors that I have grown to love and read over and over.

Generally I love good books that are made into good movies. Unfortunately, not all come out as well as this one did.

James Knauff

It has been most popular to downgrade the experience of seeing a movie after one has read the story in book form. This response is cliche, often snobbish and sometimes unfair. Recently, I finished reading John Adams; just prior to the HBO series. Clearly, the read was more engaging and detailed. However, I wait eagerly for each new TV episode and enjoy each. Point? The experiences are different. Enjoy what you may and take each experience as distinct gifts from their creators and and be thankful to our true creator for the abilities that allow one to see, hear, understand and benefit from the moments spent engaged in these forms of story telling.

Pam Newman

I so enjoy receiving Well Read Life. I was so intrigued by the description of this book (one I had not previously heard of) that I immediately sought it and am presently reading it. Reading is my passion!! I hope to see the movie as soon as I complete the book!! Thanks so much!!

Deborah Beasley

Well I loved the movie and did not know it was a boovie until just now, but I should have guessed. Now I will read the book, which I am sure I will enjoy just as much if not more than that wonderful movie with Anne Bancroft. I agree that each media has its' benefits and should be appreciated for what they bring to the individual viewer. That said, a poorly executed boovie always results in a new resolve to stop going to the movies. Still, a good one just doubles the joy and expands the experience; such as The Joy Luck Club - was excellent boovie by the way.

Diana Raabe

What a wonderful story! I didn't know a movie had been made of 84 Charing Cross Road, but will have to check it out.

Sometimes the boovie is fine; but, usually, the movie does not do justice to the book. I was curious to see 'Atonement' but greatly disappointed. Perhaps that should have been expected.


How kind of you to remind me of that charming book I read and treasured more than 30 years ago. I worked in a publishing house at the time; we all read it and felt special to be in the business of making books.

And I don't remember the movie, although I can't imagine I would have missed it. I think that's the point: The book stays with us, the boovie disappears.

It's generally my policy to always read the book first. Start with caviar, then move on to the mundane.

Sri Prakash

84 charing cross road is a wonderful read, as the Times London has aptly pointed out: With it a cult was born. I think where a book differs from a book made into a movie(ala boovie) is in the details. With a book you get all of it with a boovie some scenes from the book, without breaking the narrative, and that bring in a business and/or an Oscar.

PS. Angela's Ashes is another book and a boovie that come to mind.

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