“The library was a little old shabby place. Francie thought it was beautiful. The feeling she had about it was as good as the feeling she had about church.” A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith.
Some books etch themselves on your soul. I don’t remember how old I was when I first read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Perhaps eleven? (Francie’s age when the book begins.) How many times did I read it after that? Ten? Twenty? Enough so that every scene, every character indelibly marked me.