84 Charing Cross Road

After months of snow-free bliss we walked into the theater to see Meet Me In St. Louis last night with a chill in the air and not a snowflake to be seen. By the time we emerged at 8 o’clock the car was more white than blue. The snow was so deep by this morning that it took 30 minutes to make the 7 minute drive to work!

This is the perfect night for a book… or a movie about a friendship that revolved around books.

84 Charing Cross Road (1987) is a fine little film based on the book of the same name written in 1970 by Helene Hanff. The story revolves around New York City resident Ms. Hanff’s 20-year correspondence with Frank Doel, an antiquarian bookseller in London. The film stars Anne Bancroft and Anthony Hopkins in the leads, with gems like Judi Dench, Mercedes Ruehl, and Ian McNeice in supporting roles. The movie is talky, and opinionated, and funny, and sweet, and charming. It is just the kind of thing that you want to curl up with on a cold winter’s night in lieu of an old, worn, well-loved book.

Pass the popcorn, please.

Reading IS Fundamental

Originally uploaded by Mac Girl

I don’t remember grade school very well these days, and what I do remember is mostly good (mostly recess). One thing I do remember is how excited I would get when the R.I.F. truck came to the school.

R.I.F. stands for:


Going to the R.I.F. truck was always fun! The truck would pull up in front of the school and park there for part of the day, and class by class we would file out of the building and into the truck.

Inside the truck was shelf upon shelf of kid’s books for all ages and reading levels. We were given time to flick through the shelves and pick out one story book to take with us – FREE! I don’t remember in my old age which books I got from R.I.F. but I do know that I always took a book and I always read it.

R.I.F. was one of those foundation builders in my life. Along with my grandmothers and my parents they encouraged me to flex my reading muscles at an early age and helped me become the avid reader that I am as an adult.

It turns out that R.I.F. has been around longer than I have (1966!) and they’re still going strong today. In fact, they’ve taken their literacy program to a new level. Every year they provide 4.5 million children with 16 million free books and literacy resources.

If you think that reading really IS fundamental, I encourage you to donate money, books, or time to R.I.F. and help today’s children become tomorrow’s readers.



Pause And Reflect (365 Day Challenge – Day 14)

Originally uploaded by Mac Girl

Wow I TOTALLY missed yesterday. That’s two days I’ve missed and we’re not even half way through January yet! How sad is THAT? (Answer: Very!)

I’m gonna keep going though — mostly because I’m stubborn, but also because I want lots of photos stacked up so that I can participate more in the 2008 Day-By-Day group more than I have for 2006 and 2007.

I managed to get some more books added to my LibraryThing bookshelf tonight. I’m up to 256 books and I’ve only done the main bookshelf so far! I still have a bookshelf in my office, two in the living room, and one in the dining room. Oh dear. πŸ™‚

I also unearthed about 10 books that my friends have loaned me over the last couple of years. As soon as I finish my current library book I’m gonna have to tuck into those and return them. I’m such a bad borrower!!!

Busy day tomorrow! Voting in the oh-so-useless Michigan Democratic Primary (Thanks, MDP. Asshats.). then lunch with Lori and a little one-on-one Adobe Lightroom tutorial, then the Macworld keynote (!!), then errands, then dinner, then GRAMUG, then socializing afterward… I’m exhausted just thinking about it!

Hopefully I’ll manage to take at least one photo for my 365 to get the ball rolling again.

The Greats! (365 Day Challenge – Day 10)

The Greats!
Originally uploaded by Mac Girl

When my dad sold his house last year I kept a lot of the books that I owned as a kid along with lots of stuff that he and I inherited from various relatives along the way.

It was a dizzying mix of subjects, genres, and authors. For example, my Nana – the very proper New England Episcopal priest’s wife – was heavily into Agatha Christie and Ian Fleming! Am I the only person who finds that odd?

Anyway, I’ve only just started really going through them and adding them to my LibraryThing.com collection, but I’m finding some real gems. Most of the sci-fi stuff is mine from when I was a kid – NO idea where the Heinlein first edition came from!! – and there are a bunch of classics, some collected Shakespeare and Mark Twain, a few old photography books of mine from the 80’s and one that my grandfather owned back in the day, lots of history and mythology, a couple of books about England, some biographies, birding books, gardening books, old hymnals, you name it. Great stuff!

And even some Heinlein… πŸ™‚

365 Day Challenge – Day 2

Stating The Obvious

Originally uploaded by Mac Girl

It occurred to me as I was uploading today’s image that this 365 challenge is going to mean that I can sweep the 2008 Day-to-Day group when it starts. Woohoo! (Just kidding, boss!) πŸ™‚

Anyway, yes, I firmly believe that reading IS sexy. I’m currently winding my way through James Lipton’s “Inside Inside” and picking up David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” whenever I have some spare time. (Irony! It’s what’s for dinner.)

Leave a comment and let me know what you’re reading these days…