How Reading Upgraded Me to First Class

If you didn’t love books you probably wouldn’t be checking out our Readers’ Advisory blog site. So, I imagine you’ve heard how books can inspire you, change your life or entertain you, etc, etc. But, have you ever heard that books can upgrade you to first class?

Here’s the scenario and how it worked for me. Try it at your own risk.

It was a dark and stormy night (really) at Logan Airport in Boston. I was sitting and reading in the crowded concourse waiting to fly back home when our flight was delayed. I decided I had more than enough time to go back down the hall to the Hudson Newsstand to pick up a Boston magazine. As I made my purchase I noticed that the clerk had copies of Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret and Jodi Picoult‘s 19 Minutes (best sellers at the time) stacked next to the register. We started talking about books and she told me what she liked to read and what kind of books airline customers usually seem to buy.

Our conversation continued until I glanced down the concourse and could not see any of my fellow passengers sitting at our gate. I ran down there to find one lone airline employee at the check in desk. She said that the plane was leaving earlier than expected and everyone was on board-except me. They had apparently been paging me while I was engrossed in my newsstand book discussion.

The employee escorted me on the plane and asked if I would mind sitting in first class since it was the closest open seat. Without much hesitation, I agreed. As I sank into the leather seat and was offered a warm washcloth, I felt slightly guilty for keeping my fellow passengers waiting. However, when I was served a lovely glass of wine, lobster bisque and a chicken Caesar salad my guilt faded and I contemplated how rich and caloric my love of reading had made my trip home!

You might want to try this yourself. But, if not, just make sure you pack some reading material in your carry on bag in case of a delay: May I suggest the following:

Avoiding Prison and Other Noble Vacation Goals by Wendy Dale
Ms. Dale has traveled a great deal partially because she grew up in a family that moved at the drop of the hat so she’s learned to be quite adventurous. Unlike your typical traveler, she managed to fall in love with an inmate while visiting a Costa Rican prison. Experience a quirky Latin America through the eyes of this young and talented writer.

A Year in the World : Journeys of a Passionate Traveler  by Frances Mayes
In this book Mayes leaves Tuscany to travel to Spain, Portugal, Crete, and Turkey. Her attention to detail and the poetic language she honed as a Creative Writing Professor are very evident as she brings alive these destinations for the reader.

Dear American Airlines by Jonathan Miles
I must confess I’m still on the waiting list (number 87) for this one. Written in the form of a complaint letter to the airlines, this is the first novel by the cocktail writer for the NY Times. The main character, on his way to his estranged daughter’s wedding, finds himself stranded in the airport when his flight is cancelled. In the following 181 pages he vents about everything that has gone wrong with his life most of which he now blames on the airline’s lack of punctuality. Sounds a little wacky but I especially like to discover new authors -plus this book got great reviews!

The Complete Travel Detective Bible: The Consummate Insider Tells You What You Need to Know in an Increasingly Complex World! By Peter Greenberg
This is more an informational book that gives valuable information on all sorts of travel such as how to pick the safest seat on an airplane or how to get a better room at a hotel. Think of it as an almanac on how to travel.

Living in a Foreign Language: a Memoir of Food, Wine and  Love in Italy  by Michael Tucker
Foodies will devour this descriptive book written by the former L.A. Law television star. It showcases his love for Italy and its cuisine, his Umbrian cottage and his wife, Jill.

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