"I love inscriptions on flyleaves and notes in margins, I like the comradely sense of turning pages someone else turned, and reading passages some one long gone has called my attention to." as stated in a letter from Helene Hanff to Frank Doel.
So said Helene Hanff author of this little book in the form of an epistolary, the writing of letters, from Helene in New York City, to Marks & Co., Booksellers, 84, Charing Cross Road, London. The majority of the letters back to Helene were from Frank Doel, her primary contact at Mark & Co.
From 1949 to 1969, 20 years, Helene requested antiquarian books and Frank supplied her orders, including little personal notes back. As time passed both got to know each other and through them, their friends and family. They were never to meet.
Although I'm not a sentimental person, I cried at the end and not because it was sad, not at all. This was simply the sweetest book I've read in years and will stay on my shelf with a note on the fly leaf or endpaper, saying how much I loved this book and include today's date. My only regret is I didn't read it years ago.