Thursday, August 6, 2009

imagining their stories

Since I tend to purchase my books at yard sales and Half Price Books, I often find little treasures inside of them while I am reading them. Since people will use many different things for a bookmark (which I appreciate, as I dislike turned down pages), I enjoy taking a moment from my reading, to imagine how that item ended up in the book.

Last night, I was reading "Child of My Heart" by Alice McDermott (so far, highly recommended), and I found a boarding pass for America West Airlines. Jennifer Nelson was in seat 17E, the middle, flying from Santa Anna to Phoenix. I imagined her in the plane, thankfully a short flight since she was in the middle seat. Perhaps she had a businessman on one side, he was lucky enough to get the aisle, and perhaps a young college student in the window seat. She immersed herself in her book, transporting herself to summer on Long Island instead of the hot and dusty Southwest (her flight was at 12:30 pm on August 15th).

How old was she? Was she a young woman, flying to meet her boyfriend for the weekend? Was she a young mom, escaping for a weekend from her children and husband to spend time with a friend at a spa? Was she a grandma, returning from a visit with her grandchildren?

I will never know, but it is fun to imagine the person who held this very same book in her hands.

I once found a eurail pass in one of my books, and I spent a good long time imagining what that person was doing. What countries was she traveling to? Was she traveling alone? Was she a young college student celebrating her graduation? Was she a retired widow exploring Europe with a friend?

Sometimes imagining those stories is better than the story I hold in my hand.


  1. Hey, I am friends with a Jennifer Nelson from Highland Park!

  2. Kristi,
    I love this post. Number one, very well written, number two, love your imagination. Number three, sooo happy we're related because I sure do like you. :o)


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