On the last day of a magical trip to New York, Greg Bruce searches for consolation in one of the world's most famous bookstores.

I was an awful 22-year-old the first time I bought a book as a bulwark against the waves of end-of-holiday despair. That's not self-deprecation; I was awful. The book I bought was A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. I never finished it.

As my 20s progressed and I became increasingly introspective and pathetic, I developed a strong faith in the power of self-help literature. Whenever I was returning from exciting and uplifting

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