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Two business rivals who despise each other in real life unwittingly fall in love as pen pals. Designed by Melanie Edwards


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Two business rivals who despise each other in real life unwittingly fall in love as pen pals.

Designed by Melanie Edwards Photography by Melanie Edwards


Was it love at first letter?

2

rival booksellers in New York City face off against each other in real life, business to business. At the same time, they unwittingly romance each other via pen pal. Will they ever realize the double lives that they have been living? Will their mail connection out weigh their icy professional relationship?


Kathleen Kelly is involved with Frank Navasky, a leftist newspaper writer for The New York Observer who is always in search of a writing opportunity to root for the underdog. While Frank is devoted to his many typewriters, Kathleen prefers a nice fountain pen. Using the pen name Shopgirl, she reads a letter from NY152, the pen name of Joe Fox whom she first met in an over-30s pen pal

The two are shown passing each other on their respective ways to work, revealing that they both frequent the same neighborhoods in the Upper West Side. Joe arrives at work, overseeing the opening of a new

exchange. As her voice narrates her reading of the letter, she reveals the boundaries of the pen pal relationship; no specifics, including no names, career or personal information, or family connections. Joe belongs to the wealthy Fox family which runs Fox Books, a chain of book superstores. Kathleen runs the small bookstore The Shop Around The Corner, which belonged to her mother.

Fox Books branch in New York City with the help of his best friend, branch manager Kevin. Kathleen and her three store assistants, George, Aunt Birdie, and Christina, open up her small shop across the street.

“I hear nothing, not even a sound on the streets of New York. Just the beat of my own heart. I have mail, from you.�

Following a day with his eleven-year-old aunt Annabel and four year old halfbrother Matthew, Joe enters Kathleen,s store to let his younger relatives experience story time. Joe and Kathleen

have a conversation that reveals Kathleen,s fears about the Fox Books store opening around the corner. He omits that his last name is Fox and he makes an abrupt exit with the children.


“ The Godfather” is the I Ching. “ The Godfather” is the sum of all wisdom. “ The Godfather” is the answer to any question. What should I pack for my summer vacation? “Leave the gun, take the cannoli.” What day of the week is it? “Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Wednesday.”

Confession. I have read Pride & Prejudice about 200 times. I get lost in the language. Words like "thither", "mischance", "felicity." I'm always in agony over whether Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy are really going to get together. Read it. I know you'll love it.


've been thinking about you. Last night I went to meet you and you weren’t there. I wish I knew why. I felt so foolish. And as I waited, someone else showed up, a man who has made my professional life a misery, and an amazing thing happened-I was able, for the first time in my life, to say the exact thing I wanted to say at the exact moment I wanted to say it. And of course, afterwards, I felt terrible. Just as you said I would. I was cruel, and I'm never cruel. And even though I can hardly believe what I said mattered to this man-to him, I am just a bug to be crushed-but what if it did? No matter what he’s done to me, there is no excuse for my behavior.”

“Anyway, I so wanted to talk to you. I hope you have a good reason for not being there last night. You don’t seem like the kind of person that would do something like that. The odd thing about this form of communication is that you’re more likely to talk about nothing than something. But I just want to say, that all this nothing has meant more to me than so many somethings. So, thanks.”

Shopgirl


“The enemy of the mid-list novel, the destroyer of City Books.”

“That caviar is garnish!”

At a publishing party for New York book business people later that week, Joe and Kathleen meet again, where Kathleen discovers Joe,s true identity. She accuses him of deception and spying, while he responds by belittling her beloved bookstore.

“How do you sleep at night?”

“The man who is coming here tonight is completely unlike you. The man who is coming here tonight is kind and funny, he has the most wonderful sense of humor…”

The Shop Around the Corner slowly goes under. Kathleen enters Fox Books to discover the true nature of the store is one of friendliness and relaxation, yet without the same dedication to children,s books as her shop. Her employees move on to other jobs; as Christina goes job hunting, George gets a job at the children,s department at a Fox Books store and Birdie retires after working in the shop for many years.

"If I really knew you, I know what I would find. Instead of a brain, a cash register. Instead of a heart, a bottom line." When the two finally decide to meet, Joe discovers whom he has been corresponding with. At first he decides not to meet with Kathleen, and nearly goes home. He decides to meet with her without revealing his pen pal identity, unintentionally leading them to clash once more. Kathleen lashes out at him and for the first time is able to say exactly what she want to say when she

“You are nothing

but a suit!”

wants to say it. Joe leaves the cafe hurt and with no explanation for his pen pal why NY152 never showed up for their date. He writes quite a few parts of letters but can,t seem to find the words to describe to Shopgirl what happened that night. After much thinking, Joe resumes the correspondence, apologizes, and he promises to eventually tell her why he stood her up that night. “I think you’d discover a lot of things if you really knew me.”


First Look Dear friend: I cannot tell you what happened last night, but I beg you from the bottom of my heart to forgive me for what happened. I feel terrible that you found yourself in a situation that , caused you additional pain. But I m absolutely sure that whatever you said last night was provoked, even deserved. And everyone says things they regret when they’re worried or stressed. You were expecting to see someone you trusted , and met the enemy instead. The fault is mine. Someday I ll , explain everything. Meanwhile, I m still here. Talk to me.

N.Y. 152


"I wanted to be your friend."

“They're so friendly. Don't you think daisies are the friendliest flower?”

After both break up with their significant others, Joe realizes his feelings towards Kathleen and begins building a faceto-face relationship, still keeping his pen pal identity a secret. His first face to face meeting with her is at her apartment when she

is sick. He brings her daisies and makes tea before leaving her to rest. Whenever he is with her, he asks her about her mysterious pen pal and asks why she hasn,t met him yet. He suggests a lot of crazy reasons why her mystery pen pal hasn't met her yet.

“Mr. 152 Felony indictments.”

NY152 and Kaathleen finally arrange a meeting face-to-face. Joe makes lunch plans with Kathleen right before she is supposed to meet her pen pal. As lunch comes to a close, Joe reveals his feelings for her. He asks her what would have happened if she hadn,t been shop around the corner and he hadn't been Fox Books. He says that he wouldn,t have been able to wait even a day before asking her out to dinner. Before parting, they both sadly

agree that things would have been much different if they hadn,t been business rivals. Upon arriving at the agreed meeting place, Kathleen hears Fox calling to Brinkley, who has run ahead, and she sees that her on-line friend is really Fox, and that she loves him, too. They embrace and she starts crying. I so hoped that ,, it would be you, she says as the movie comes to a close and their face to face relationship can finally begin.

“Well, let me ask you something. How can you forgive this guy for standing you up and not forgive me for this tiny little thing of... of putting you out of business? Oh, how I wish you would.”

“Hey, you want to bump into me on, say, Saturday around lunchtime? Over there?”


wanted it it to to be be you you.so badly. II wanted


“Do you ever feel you become the worst version of yourself? That a Pandora's Box of all the secret hateful parts­—your arrogance, your spite, your condescension—has sprung open. Someone provokes you, and instead of just smiling and moving on, you zing them. Hello, it's Mr. Nasty. I'm sure you have no idea what I'm talking about…”


“…No, I know what you mean and I'm completely jealous. What happens to me when I'm provoked is that I get tongue-tied. My mind goes blank. Then… then I spend all night tossing and turning trying to figure out what I should have said. What should I have said, for example, to the bottom dweller who recently belittled my existence. Even now, days later, I can't figure it out.”


Kathleen Kelly “Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life – well, valuable, but small – and sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven’t been brave? So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn’t it be the other way around? I don’t really want an answer. I just want to send this cosmic question out into the void. So good night, dear void.”

Growing up: She grew up in her mother’s small children’s bookstore in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Her favorite pasttime to do with her mother was to twirl. Kathleen and her mother were very close until she passed away. She misses her so much. Kathleen has a picture of her mother hanging behind the counter in The Shop Around the Corner. Living: She lives in her cozy apartment. It’s the perfect place to relax with a comforting book. Though she works a lot in the shop, she always enjoys relaxing at home. Profession: The owner of The Shop Around the Corner, an

independent children’s bookstore. Kathleen loves what she does; she loves making children’s lives more magical through books, the way her mother did for her. She is close to her employees and makes a fast connection to every child – or even adult – who walks in. She knows everything there is about the best books and she gladly helps people find a book they’ll fall in love with.

Interests: Daisies, children, and literature. Kathleen especially

loves Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Recently, she has been talking about books—and everything else—through a pen pal program with a man whose alias is NY152. The letters are anonymous, so Kathleen goes by Shopgirl.

Relationship Status: She is dating a journalist named Frank Navasky who is very suspicious of technology and prefers writing everything by hand. They’ve been together a long time, and though they’re perfect for each other on paper, they’re more like roommates than anything else. They still give each other advice, gossip, and bicker but they realize during the movie that they don’t actually love one another. Challenge: Withstanding Fox Books, the chain bookstore that

is now competing with her own small shop. It’s hard to keep an independent bookstore running when such a strong business moves in next door. She’s angry at Fox Books, and she’ll have to put up quite a fight to keep her business afloat. They have many altercations throughout the movie.

Personality Traits: Nurturing, introspective, and principled. Kathleen’s articulate, a natural communicator, and connects closely with words and language. She pays close attention to the little moments, which she loves to share with NY152, but also has an eye for the world and her place in it. She leads a modest life, and she sometimes wonders if she should have broadened her small world and taken bigger risks.


Don,t you love New York in the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address. On the other hand, this not knowing has its charms.,,

Grew Up: Wealthy and privileged. After his mother left, he was raised by a string of nannies, a few of whom his father married. Due to his unconventional family, he has an 11-year-old aunt and a 4-year old brother. Living: He rents a room in the luxurious Ansonia Hotel. He lives with his dog, a friendly golden retriever named Brinkley. He also owns a boat. Profession: He is an executive at Fox Books, a chain of book superstores. Joe’s family founded the corporation and he runs it with cool confidence. Most recently, he has opened a massive new location on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, located near an independent bookstore run by the pesky (but charming) Kathleen Kelly. Interests: His family, New York City, and a good conversation. He loves to spend time with his “aunt” and brother, either on his boat or on the streets of the Big Apple. Most recently, Joe has been writing letters to his pen pal under the alias NY152. He chats daily with a stranger named Shopgirl, and he’s been thinking about asking her to meet him in person... little does he know that he’s been chatting with Kathleen Kelly, his business rival. Will he still want to talk to her after finding out her true identity?

Relationship Status: Currently dating his power-suit-wearing girlfriend. Patricia is a book editor who talks a mile a minute, and Joe is sometimes frustrated by her constant drive for success. From time to time he thinks she’s being selfish—but sometimes being selfish is just good business, right? Challenge: Winning over Kathleen Kelly. She’s been stirring up a storm of media protests against Fox Books, and their relationship has gone from cordial to sour however he believes that business is bussiness and will do what it takes to be successful. Meanwhile, he’s been wondering whether he’s found the love of his life through the mail. He’s made a real connection with his pen pal Shopgirl, but he hasn’t even seen her face and doesn’t know who she is! Personality Traits: Quick-witted, easygoing, and practical. Joe is a fun person to hang out with—if you’re not in a public business rivalry with him, at least. Kathleen may think that Joe is mean-spirited and rude, but he can be funny and sweet too. He wishes that he didn’t say half of the mean things that he does but at times he can’t help but “word vomiting.” At heart, he’s a good guy who’s playing the hand he’s been dealt.


the

Corner The

Shop Arou nd the Corn er

the

Corner


Tuesdays

The

3 pm

Shop Around the Corner

the

Corner


Shop the

Corner “People are always telling you that change is a good thing. But all they’re really saying is that something you didn’t want to happen at all... has happened. My store is closing this week. I own a store, did I ever tell you that? It’s a lovely store, and in a week it will be something really depressing, like a Baby Gap. Soon, it’ll just be a memory. In fact, someone, some foolish person, will probably think it’s a tribute to this city,

Established: Location:

the way it keeps changing on you, the way you can never count on it, or something. I know because that’s the sort of thing I’m always saying. But the truth is... I’m heartbroken. I feel as if a part of me has died, and my mother has died all over again, and no one can ever make it right.”

–Kathleen Kelly

1915

Upper West Side, New York City

Owned by:

Kathleen Kelly

Previous Owners:

Cecilia Kelly

Customers per day:

32 on average

Most popular book:

The Shoe book series

Book Genres: Specialties:

Children, Young adults

Storybook Time, Hand-illustrated books


SUPERSTOR

Book Superstore

FOX BOOKS

Book Superstore

E


FOX BOOKS


AND SONS

“Do you know what? We are going to seduce them. We’re

to sell them cheap books and legal addictive stimulants. In the

going to seduce them with our square footage, and our

meantime, we’ll just put up a big sign: ‘Coming soon: a Fox

discounts, and our deep armchairs, and our cappuccino.

Books superstore and the end of civilization as you know it.’”

That’s right. They’re going hate us at the beginning, but...we’ll get ‘em in the end. Do you know why? Because we’re going

Established: 1943 Location: Upper West Side, New York City Owned by: Schuyler, Nelson, and Joe Fox Customers per day: 2,100 on average Specialty book section: The Manhattan Series Book Genres: All genres Specialties: Cushioned chairs and lattes

–Joe Fox


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Produced at Kutztown University

You've Got Mail Movie Prop Book  

This is a book designed to highlight typographic props from the movie You've Got Mail that has been set in the 1940s.

You've Got Mail Movie Prop Book  

This is a book designed to highlight typographic props from the movie You've Got Mail that has been set in the 1940s.

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