Early this month a public library in Shawnee, Kansas received a strange letter. One of their books was returned in the mail – but it didn’t come from the reader who borrowed it. A Delta Air Lines captain found Whatever After: If the Shoe Fits on the Atlanta airport’s B concourse while commuting to their home in Florida.
The pilot may have saved the young reader significant late fees, and protected their future borrowing privileges – expressing a hope that whomever had checked out the book “grows up to be an avid reader.”
The pilot actually offered to cover the late fees for the book he returned because he believes that nobody “should ever be penalized for enriching their life with a book.” Contra the pilot, though, the penalty here would have been for
- not returning the book, so that
- someone else was unable to enjoy it as well.
Enclosed with the book was a bunch of pilot wings and trading cards from Delta to share with children who visit the Shawnee public library.
It’s an odd choice for the pilot in this letter to highlight their own reading preferences? But it’s still a kind gesture to return the book, help out the anonymous borrower and the library, and help spread a love of reading. Kudos to “Ben” whose full name has been redacted on the letter making the rounds in social media.