When I was 11 or so, I decided it was time to go upstairs and start reading books meant for adults. At my hometown library, housed in a 1930s-era mansion on the edge of downtown, the children’s section was in the basement. An insatiable reader, I’d devoured the books that appealed to me down there. That evening, I stood on the front sidewalk contemplating the upstairs-downstairs question as assiduously as a minor character in Downton Abbey. Why not? I thought. How much more difficult can adult books be?
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