On Sunday, I boxed up Bukowski. I boxed up Bangs. And Talese, too.
It was when I got to this room, where I sit now, empty and ready box in hand, that the significance of what I was doing hit me.
This is the room where I write. On an iMac, which is on an antique-looking, colonial-style desk, which is in what I like to call my library (a cozy little space with deep red walls, cherry-stained bookshelves and, of course, books). Most of my modest collection—400 books or so (and still growing)—call this room home.
The shelves that line the wall to my left, however, are empty now, and so too is the room, the atmosphere. Before tonight, whether writing or reading, I never felt alone, inspiration never far away. Tonight, the journalists, the poets, the observers, the thinkers, the rock critics, the astronomers, the geographers, the playwrights, the storytellers, the truth-tellers are all eerily quiet. Silent.
Size, at least in this particular case, doesn’t matter. Quality is what counts here. Fill it with the works of the writers you love, or want to read, or want to write like. Let the voices in; surround yourself with those who inspire you to “write as well as you can.”
While I’ve realized for quite some time the importance and value my personal library holds, the silence stifling this empty room at this moment makes this point even more pronounced, more palpable. All writers must have their own library. There’s no better way to write than to do so in the company of heroes.
May 22, 2007