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The kingdom of heaven is like the Brooklyn Public Library

The kingdom of heaven is like the Brooklyn Public Library

Seen from above, the central branch of the Brooklyn Public Library resembles an open book: concave spine curling around Grand Army Plaza, front and back covers stretching down Flatbush Avenue and Eastern Parkway. From the front steps, it looks like a temple. Glyph-like carvings illuminate the 40-foot bronze doors, flanked by massive limestone pylons. A key inside identifies the figures as authors and fictional characters, but the visitor’s first impression is that of an unfamiliar pantheon, etched in gold and towering overhead.

Francie, the young protagonist of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, says of her own neighborhood library: “The feeling she had about it was as good as the feeling she had about church.” Reading these lines in a library book at age nine or ten, I felt a tug of recognition: that sleight of hand by which fiction takes our own unformed thoughts and delivers them back to us, beautiful and strange.

https://www.christiancentury.org/article/first-person/kingdom-heaven-brooklyn-public-library