Book Sale Success: And some advice on the writer’s work environment

Friends of The Seattle Public Library Logo

Twice each year the Friends of the Seattle Public Library host a booksale in Magnuson Park. Over 200,000 books, cd, dvds, comics, and audio books are available for purchase. Books are sold to members only on Friday night, followed by a general admission on Saturday, and a 1/2 off deal on Sunday. Book prices range from $1 hardcovers (general mysteries, classics, fiction, science fiction, etc.) to $0.50 paperbacks (the same genres); “better books” range from $3-6; and some “rare books” range from $6-25 (though most of these come in a set).

Does this make you as happy as it made me?

I was thrilled. I bought a membership and went to the sale on Friday, which was incredible. I waited in line with hundreds of others for first-pickin’ rights to all the precious books. The only letdown was a 25 book limit (I am ashamed to admit that I am greedy enough to take 100 books at once; one of my roommates saw me after Round 2, and has since dubbed me a “book junkie”). Of course, all this prohibition meant was that I had to come back early on Saturday for Round 2 (and I still have my eyes set on a pair of Norwegian books I hope will go 1/2 price on Sunday).

What did I do with these new books? I took a little trip to Ikea, bought myself a new bookshelf, some new decor, and I decided it was time to update the ol’ writing work space. The results of my efforts were beyond imagining.

I think I stumbled on something great, and I feel it is time to share these insights with the world.

I am about to show you a picture of my writing environment.

Refrain from jealousy.

Writer\'s Abode

Please notice the following:

1) The clean work space. Every writer needs a place to feel comfortable and relaxed while working.

2) The bookshelf located close to the work space. This serves two vital functions: 1) inspiration – being surrounded by the company of the great, makes oneself great, and 2) research – being able to thumb through a useful anecdote or quote at any moment.

3) Notice the clean, warm light; also notice the discrete placement of speakers around the desk. Writers gain inspiration through many sources, including music.

You might be asking yourself: “That’s great, Scott, but how did you ever manage to afford such an extravagant writer’s work space. Are you a millionare? Are you a pimp? Do you push drugs to afford your writing lifestyle? Scott, I guess my real question is, how did you do it?

That’s a great question!

1) The clean work space? $50 from Craigslist.

(and, uhmm…don’t be deceived, it will remain clean for about 48 hours, and then any pictures taken of the desk will be destroyed as potential blackmail).

2) The bookshelf? $89 from Ikea.

The books? 42 of those seen in the picture were bought at the booksale, which came to the extravagant price of?!…$50. The rest have followed me through the years.

(of course, we won’t talk about the other bookshelf downstairs that is full…)

3) The light? $10 from Ikea.

The phallic tubes?… I mean, stereo speakers? They were too much money from the Apple Store.

(stupid Apple, snaring me with your coolness, and your sexiness, even though you cost too much damned money!)

And that’s it, friends. Now you too can enjoy the extravagant writer’s life!

If you’ve liked this material, feel free to send checks – without my name – to Friends of the Seattle Public Libary. Even better, attend one of the bi-annual booksales, and start your extravagant writer’s life this fall!

Published in: on April 13, 2008 at 5:02 am  Comments (5)  
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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Like I might have mentioned online before… I’m so glad my friends are writing geeks and book nerds! :o)

  2. You have to buy a library membership?

    Sorry, sorry, yes, the book sale and the workspace are tres cool but… you have to BUY a library membership? Toto, we are not in Michigan anymore.

    Well I guess with all of the $$ I’ve paid in late fees it could be said that I, too, have purchased my membership. But I prefer to call myself a “Patron of the Arts,” tyvm.

  3. Oops!

    Apparently I did not make that clear.

    I bought access to buy books at the booksale; Library membership is totally free (and Seattle boasts a very nice library downtown, I believe it’s 11 stories tall!)

  4. Ohhhh I see.

    And now I am jealous as I contemplate how I could get lost amidst all those books…

  5. I’m writing a post about no-cost spring cleaning in the craft/work space, and I did a search for a “clean work surface” and your blog came up. I love your desk (and your blog for that matter!) and hope you don’t mind that I’ve posted the picture on my blog, stating yours as a clear example of a great work area.

    Check my blog out at:

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