The Cost of Writing Fahrenheit 451
Ray Bradbury’s adorable yellow home in Los Angeles is for sale for $1.5M — is it strange to say “not bad”? — but my favorite part of that story in the Guardian is this:
Fahrenheit 451, the tale of a dystopian future where books are burned, was written in a local library. In a 2006 letter to the assistant director of Fayetteville public library, the author explained how he discovered that the basement to the UCLA library contained a typing room where typewriters could be rented for 10 cents per half an hour.
“I moved into the typing room along with a bunch of students and my bag of dimes, which totalled $9.80, which I spent and created the 25,000-word version of The Fireman in nine days,” wrote Bradbury. “How could I have written so many words so quickly? It was because of the library. All of my friends, all of my loved ones, were on the shelves above and shouted, yelled and shrieked at me to be creative.”
He wrote Fahrenheit 451 in 49 hours, for $9.80!
Note to future historians: I am writing this post at the library, using the internet for zero dimes per half hour.