"It's as if we've torn down the walls of the library, and now the
reading room is full of street people."
I picture the area around the New York Public Library suddenly becoming the basis for all the chatter and cross-talk taking the place of lovely books. On my first visit to that venerable institution, I enjoyed the beauty of the reading room, years before technology overtook quiet. Not finding a single book available for browsing, I asked the desk attendant, and was told "If you want a book, fill out this slip to ask for it and wait while someone brings it to you." Growing up in Chicago where I could browse the library from the age of 5, and take home as many books as I wished, the New York experience left a mark on me. I've been collecting books for my personal library ever since.