Jen Carlson invited me to tag along for a behind-the-scenes visit to the New York Public Library this morning. We had a great time-- they took us through a bunch of the private collections, the main reading rooms, and the laboratories where they conserve aging books and materials. For me, the highlight was seeing the handwritten manuscripts-- they showed us originals from Virginia Woolf, T.S. Eliot, Walt Whitman, and a number of other writers. When you're looking at that, you really feel a sense of a living connection to the author.