The winter quarter is almost upon us . . . Issue 48 has been printed, sewn and trimmed and our printers in Yorkshire now have the mammoth task of packaging up all our subscribers’ copies to be sent out towards the end of next week. Meanwhile, here in Hoxton Square, each day brings a fresh delivery of parcels to keep the office foxes on their toes. Thankfully all the lugging of boxes upstairs, sprinting for the phone, stretching to the top shelves for slipcases, wrestling with cardboard and lunging for the tape gun means we never feel too bad about having just one more mince pie, and it’s always worth it when at last we open up the brown paper parcels and glimpse the new issue’s artwork or the binding cloth on the latest edition for the first time.
Helene Hanff’s much-loved 84, Charing Cross Road, with its pillar box red cloth and royal blue endpapers peeking out is such a treat indeed. It’s a gloriously heart-warming read, the account of a friendship – almost a love story – conducted through books that captures the essence of a slower, gentler era. Now it’s back to the paper-shuffling and post bags for us as we tidy up for the weekend so we’ll leave you right at the beginning, with Miss Hanff of 14 East 95th Street, New York and FPD of Marks & Co, Charing Cross Road, London.