I also imagine an uptick in tourism, with countless brand-new visitors to the Library of Congress. Brown has certainly convinced me to go, if only to see the horns on Moses, or to sit quietly for a moment in "the most beautiful room in the world."
I haven't finished The Lost Symbol, and can't spoil the ending for you, but given Brown's track record, no one will be able to solve the mystery on their own. Just as The DaVinci Code challenged our literal minds and revealed an unexpected meaning for the Holy Grail, I suspect that The Lost Symbol's promised apotheosis will have similarly surprising dimensions. I can hardly wait to find out, so pardon me. I must go back to reading this book.
Beth Davies-Stofka teaches courses on comparative religion and the philosophy of religion. She has also been an online columnist and critic and contributes regularly to the Patheos site.