Monday, October 31, 2011


This summer I spent a night with a group of about 500 people in the main branch of the New York Library as part of a game that ended with all of us collaboratively writing and publishing a book by the end of the night. I went in there hoping that it would be like Book Church, which it sort of was, but in the end all the relics and the cavernous spaces and the hallowed halls feel to the place really left me sad and cold, more like spending the night in a museum, or a mausoleum.

Across the street from the vast, intimidating marble facade sits the more humble lending library, with its irregular shelves filled with plain, ordinary books that have been read and loved and abused and opened and closed hundreds of times. It is unoffensively bland and shabby and not at all grand, and it is here, not in the grand, palatial monument across the street, that I feel at home.

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