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The reading rate among Americans was already among the highest in the world, but it rose still higher at the turn of the century. The number of books published multiplied four times during the same period. Designed by American architect Asher Benjamin (1773-1845) for Jonathan Leavitt of Greenfield, Massachusetts, in 1797, this private home became the Greenfield Public Library in 1909. It was built to look like an eighteenth-century English mansion.