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‘Beautiful copy of 84, Charing Cross Road . . .’

‘A little early to send a Christmas card, but I felt I needed to thank you after such a after such a pleasant weekend, due to the arrival of both the Winter issue of the magazine and the beautiful copy of 84, Charing Cross Road. And including a Christmas card also justifies a first-class stamp, not something one indulges in lightly nowadays.

My treasured original paperback versions of all five of Helene Hanff’s books are kept in sealed freezer bags – their pages loose and brown. But replacement reading copies seem to disappear so frequently from my shelves that I almost feel I need a standing order . . .

How lovely then to welcome the SF edition of 84, Charing Cross Road in its scarlet cover – for some reason my friends and family don’t spirit away hardbacks – and I shall so enjoy this version with its creamy paper and genuine ‘book’ smell for as many years as I still have before me!

And then the Winter edition of the magazine had such treats that I just sat down and read straight through it, ignoring all the domestic chores that were demanding my attention.

It was so nice to share the joys of Gilbert White’s Selbourne, Arthur Marshall’s Life’s Rich Pageant, Wilkie Collins’ No Name with the authors of the articles. There were others just as welcome and familiar and also three items new to me that merit searching out the books mentioned in them. Thank you so much for this bounty! My very best wishes to all at Slightly Foxed for your continuing delightful publications.’ J. Barry, Hertfordshire

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