Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Ms. Helene Hanff
New York City, NY
Dear Ms. Hanff:
Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Sandy and I am a book blogger that recently read the collection of letters between yourself and Mr. Frank Doel, an employee of the Marks & Co. antiquarian booksellers in London, England. Forgive me if I sound too familiar with you (as you are a stranger) but those letters melted my little book-loving heart! If there was ever a book for book-lovers, this was it.
I found myself nodding my head throughout your short but impactful book. What else would serve as a basis for a twenty-year correspondence and overseas friendship besides the love of books? I totally GET that. Bibliophiles like you and Mr. Doel immediately and easily find a common bond with each other, even if it is through letters and not face-to-face interaction (just like book bloggers).
Oh, the books you received from Marks & Co.!!! If you started a blog, Ms. Hanff, you would definitely be on the short list for the Most Eclectic Blog award. A Grolier Bible, Jane Austen, Chaucer, Samuel Pepys, Plato...you have an amazing range of interests. No wonder you are such an accomplished writer! And you have such an enthusiastic love for the written word. That enthusiasm shines through in your letters. And may I be so bold as to tell you that you have a ripping good sense of humor??? You made me laugh out loud.
You are also a very kind person. Do you give yourself enough credit for this? You seem so casual about your thoughtful gestures. It isn't everyone who would appreciate the food shortages experienced in London because of WWII, and send such rare delicacies such as ham and candies and other goodies to your friends at Marks & Co. You must have been their favorite customer. In fact, I would imagine most of them would consider you a family member. After all, these kind folks did offer you the use of their guest bedrooms if you would have ever visited.
Which brings me to the one big beef I have with you, if I may speak frankly. I realize times were tight, you had to get your teeth fixed, you had to move to a new apartment, etc. But girlfriend, please. I know a good dozen bloggers, including myself, who would have floated you a little bit of cash to send you overseas to meet these dear people, especially Mr. Doel. Would that not have been the perfect end to a perfect story? You made me want to cry at that missed opportunity.
Oh well, I forgive you. You brightened my day. You made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I'll still give your book a 5 out of 5.
My best and warmest regards,