Dear Kristine Elizabeth Hoffman
I love the occasional and unintended glimpses of other people’s lives that I find in the second hand books I read. I have been idly wondering about how many degrees, in this internet-connected global village of ours, separate two complete strangers whose only connection is a paperback book. For instance, take the book above, Anne Lamott’s Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith. It was one of three I received as a birthday gift a few weeks back, purchased by my wife in New Zealand over the internet from a secondhand bookseller in the US via the Amazon website and shipped via a friend’s address in the UK.
Why am I telling you this? Because earlier today, halfway through chapter twelve, I came across a Delta boarding pass with your name on it. This, together with the window sticker that dropped from between the last few pages when I first opened the book a week or so ago, is the just sort of happenstance that intrigues me. Are you a die-hard Lamott fan or a first time reader? Are you strong in your faith or working through years of stuff like me? Do you ever wonder who else reads the books you read?
I’m no Sherlock Holmes but from the boarding pass it would seem that in late June. last year or the year before – the boarding pass is not yellowed or overly faded – you flew Delta between Salt Lake City and Atlanta. Did you fly as a crew member on standby? The pass is marked ‘NRSA’ which, Google tells me, stands for Non Revenue Space Available and means free seating for airline personnel and their family members. As for the ‘Montana Native’ sticker, who knows? Maybe you’re a native Montanan flight attendant who deadheaded out of Helena down to the Atlanta hub via Utah after an early summer family reunion.
Oh, I almost forgot to ask – do you wear Vera Wang perfume? I only ask because, when I checked the other two books, I found a ‘Bouquet’ perfume tester card wedged a third of the way through Grace (Eventually). There again, there is every chance that book is part of an entirely different person’s story.
Blessings and happy reading!