Buying a new book always makes my day a little brighter. For one woman from Columbia, Missouri, a single book purchase not only made her smile — it also had a much deeper impact than she ever expected.
Ashley Jost was grocery shopping at her local Target. The 27-year-old had recently made a pact with her friends to read more.
“We are aiming to read 10 pages of a book a day,” Jost shared with BBC. “I saw this book in the aisle, which I had heard a lot about on social media, so I bought it.”
Jost is speaking of Rachel Hollis’ “Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals.”
The book just so happens to address challenges most women face such as confidence, self-worth and simply believing in oneself.
How perfect was it, then, that Jost found an extra-special something hidden within the book’s pages — something from one woman to another, a reminder that the reader is valued and loved?
“I keep hearing this book is an easy read and kind of inspirational,” Jost told KOMU-TV. “So I thought, ‘Okay, 17 bucks, I’ll just grab this book and it’ll be my first read of this challenge.'”
It wasn’t until Jost arrived home that she discovered a note from a woman who only identified herself as “Lisa.”
Jost was reading her new book when her dog began to bark. She set down the read to take care of her pup.
When she returned, something was there that she hadn’t noticed before.
“Five dollars fell out, and it took me a second where I was like, ‘Wait, what just happened?'” Jost shared with KOMU-TV.
She then took a closer look at the book and found a pink, handwritten note near the end. “To the person who buys this book,” the note began. “I am having a tough day.”
“I thought maybe I could brighten someone else’s with this little surprise,” it continued. “Go buy a coffee, a donut or a face mask. Practice some self care today. Remember that you are loved, you are amazing, you are strong. — Lisa.”
I just finished a chapter of a book I bought at Target in Columbia, Mo., this morning.
Afterward, I tossed it on the ottoman and $5 fell out onto the floor. Then I found this note. Wow. People are so cool. pic.twitter.com/U5fOCZjNRy
— Ashley Jost (@ajost) April 28, 2019
Jost shared a photo of the note and $5 bill on Twitter. The tweet has, of course, gone viral and sparked others to pay it forward with acts of kindness of their own. “It sort of caught fire,” Jost told CNN.
While “Lisa” has remained mostly anonymous, CNN did report that the mystery woman happened to see Jost in the media and mailed a card to the campus where she works.
“She said it made her cry in a good way,” Jost told CNN while keeping Lisa’s identity under wraps. Jost has since completed multiple acts of kindness and even made plans to leave her own note in a book for someone else.
It didn’t stop with Jost, either. Her stepdad paid for someone’s groceries. Someone else took to social media to say she’d been inspired to pay it forward as well — and all because of one person who wanted to turn a bad day into something better.
“I hope wherever she is,” Jost told KOMU, “hopefully her day has improved, her chapter of life has improved, and I would definitely tell her thank you.”
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