Have you read Helene Hanff’s epistolary memoir, 84 Charing Cross Road, the absolutely delightful story of her correspondence with London bookseller Frank Doel? Their relationship was forged over two decades as Doel sourced the obscure titles Hanff requested and sent them across the ocean to her home in New York City. Via “book mail,” special postal rates for sending books, which—alas—are no more… These days, mailing books is a costly endeavour, although a certain online retailer’s dominance has led to readers forgetting this fact, making us take begin to take “free shipping” for granted. But for a small business—like the one featured in Hanff’s book, like the independent bookstore you’ve got in your town—the cost is a big one, and one that under most circumstances they can’t afford to cover.
Which is why the FREE SHIPPING on #BrinyBooks titles is something we don’t take for granted at all, and I’m grateful to Blue Heron Books for making it work—in the same of making it as enticing as possible to get our great books in the hands of great readers.
And it’s true that one thing that hasn’t changed since Hanff’s book was published is how exciting it is to wait for—and get!—books in the mail.
Thanks to CBC Ontario Morning for having me on today to talk about Briny Books and our incredible inaugural selections. Listen again to the segment on the podcast here—I come on at 33.00.