Today's Reading

CHAPTER ONE
Hannah, December

Do you remember where you were and what you were doing the moment your life changed forever? I do. I was standing outside the gym, hair in a bit of a tangle, in need of a shower after a grueling spin class, rifling in my bag for my gloves while my mobile buzzed away. But of course I didn't know it at the time. That's always how it is, though, isn't it? You never realize the true significance of a moment until later.

I grab my phone, still unable to find the gloves that have disappeared into the depths of my bag. The December weather is biting cold, and although it's only early evening the sky is already a shade of ink, strewn with gray clouds that look as if they've been painted on and dragged gently from one side of the canvas to the other.

The dialing code says +1 and so I pause momentarily as my phone continues to vibrate in my hand. Where on earth is +1? Call centers start with a random assortment of codes and this doesn't look like any of those.

"Hello?" I ask.

"Hello," a man, with an American accent, replies. And then in a deeper, friendlier tone, "Jonathan White?"

I laugh. "Do I sound like a Jonathan White?"

"Oh, no. I'm sorry. I mean, is he there?"

"No. Sorry, you've got the wrong number."

A pause, a rustle of papers. "OK. Sorry. Bye."

"Bye," I say, but he's already gone. And then barely ten seconds pass before my phone rings again.

I draw out the word "Hello" as I answer—the same +1 number shining on my screen.

"Oh, not again," he says in exasperation. "How have I dialed it wrong a second time? I can't be that stupid." Which makes me laugh again, although not unkindly.

"I think you have."

Silence and then, "Hold on."

I wait, smiling with amusement. The cold weather is seemingly not as cold now as it was before.

"Is this plus-four-four..." and he reels out a list of digits that are most certainly mine.

"It is. What number were you looking for?"

"This one."

I try not to laugh.

"Shit," he replies. "I wrote it down wrong. I'm supposed to call this number at four P.M. UK time, for a job interview."

"Not this number, I'm afraid. Maybe try switching one of the digits?"

"Yeah," he says uncertainly. "But which one? There's about a billion possible combinations."

"I have no idea. Where are you ringing from?"

"Texas."

"And you have a job interview with someone on a UK number? Are you getting a job over here?" I'm so nosy.

"Hopefully..."

"Unlikely, given you're on the phone to me and you should be answering questions about...whatever it is you're interviewing for."

"Buildings. I should be answering questions about buildings right about now. Shit."

"Buildings?"

"Architecture, specifically." He has a really nice voice. Deep, but not too deep.
...

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Today's Reading

CHAPTER ONE
Hannah, December

Do you remember where you were and what you were doing the moment your life changed forever? I do. I was standing outside the gym, hair in a bit of a tangle, in need of a shower after a grueling spin class, rifling in my bag for my gloves while my mobile buzzed away. But of course I didn't know it at the time. That's always how it is, though, isn't it? You never realize the true significance of a moment until later.

I grab my phone, still unable to find the gloves that have disappeared into the depths of my bag. The December weather is biting cold, and although it's only early evening the sky is already a shade of ink, strewn with gray clouds that look as if they've been painted on and dragged gently from one side of the canvas to the other.

The dialing code says +1 and so I pause momentarily as my phone continues to vibrate in my hand. Where on earth is +1? Call centers start with a random assortment of codes and this doesn't look like any of those.

"Hello?" I ask.

"Hello," a man, with an American accent, replies. And then in a deeper, friendlier tone, "Jonathan White?"

I laugh. "Do I sound like a Jonathan White?"

"Oh, no. I'm sorry. I mean, is he there?"

"No. Sorry, you've got the wrong number."

A pause, a rustle of papers. "OK. Sorry. Bye."

"Bye," I say, but he's already gone. And then barely ten seconds pass before my phone rings again.

I draw out the word "Hello" as I answer—the same +1 number shining on my screen.

"Oh, not again," he says in exasperation. "How have I dialed it wrong a second time? I can't be that stupid." Which makes me laugh again, although not unkindly.

"I think you have."

Silence and then, "Hold on."

I wait, smiling with amusement. The cold weather is seemingly not as cold now as it was before.

"Is this plus-four-four..." and he reels out a list of digits that are most certainly mine.

"It is. What number were you looking for?"

"This one."

I try not to laugh.

"Shit," he replies. "I wrote it down wrong. I'm supposed to call this number at four P.M. UK time, for a job interview."

"Not this number, I'm afraid. Maybe try switching one of the digits?"

"Yeah," he says uncertainly. "But which one? There's about a billion possible combinations."

"I have no idea. Where are you ringing from?"

"Texas."

"And you have a job interview with someone on a UK number? Are you getting a job over here?" I'm so nosy.

"Hopefully..."

"Unlikely, given you're on the phone to me and you should be answering questions about...whatever it is you're interviewing for."

"Buildings. I should be answering questions about buildings right about now. Shit."

"Buildings?"

"Architecture, specifically." He has a really nice voice. Deep, but not too deep.
...

Join the Library's Online Book Clubs and start receiving chapters from popular books in your daily email. Every day, Monday through Friday, we'll send you a portion of a book that takes only five minutes to read. Each Monday we begin a new book and by Friday you will have the chance to read 2 or 3 chapters, enough to know if it's a book you want to finish. You can read a wide variety of books including fiction, nonfiction, romance, business, teen and mystery books. Just give us your email address and five minutes a day, and we'll give you an exciting world of reading.

What our readers think...