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My office away from the office

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on December 5, 2013

I’ve always been a fan of public libraries, as I’ve noted in a previous post. There’s a story that Ray Bradbury wrote Fahrenheit 451 at the UCLA Powell Library, where he pumped dimes into the rental typewriter until he finished the novel. One dime for a half hour of time, costing him nine dollars and change to complete the book. “Libraries raised me,” he [Bradbury] said in a 2009 interview while trying to raise money for a library in Ventura County. “I don’t believe in colleges and universities.… When I graduated from high school, it was during the Depression and we had no money. I couldn’t go to college, so I went to the library three days a week for 10 years.” An appreciation of Bradbury’s love for the LA Public Library system can be found here. And above is the entrance to the Eureka Valley Public Library, which I consider one of my offices away from my home office.

The Eureka Valley library is light, airy, and well-maintained. There are plenty of free public access computers, as well as the usual sections for magazines and newspapers, video rentals, childrens area, and even the occasional old-fashioned book. There are also public rest rooms, photography related to the branch’s LGBT focus on the wall, and rotating information/art installations of note.

I use one of the many tables with available outlets to set up my office “on the run” as it were. Here’s my 2011 13-inch MacBook Air, outfitted with a custom Kensington locking stand and cable lock. With my Scrivener software (open to the first “page” of my current novel-in-rewrite entitled “1% Free”) I’m all set. Everything goes back into the bag slung over the chair when I’m done. You’ll notice the copy of San Francisco library locations and hours, as well as a free book I got from the branch, research for my regular monthly MRR columns. Public libraries are truly a gift to the people, not to mention aspiring writers. I can’t repeat enough how much I love them.


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