How a Bag of Dimes Turned into a Novel

atkins-bookshelf-quotationsWhen I was in my 40s, I had no money for an office. I was wandering around UCLA one day… and I heard typing down below — in the basement of the library. And I went down to see what was going on. I found there was a typing room down there. And for 10 cents for a half an hour, I could rent a typewriter. I said, “My God. This is great! I don’t have an office. I’ll move in here with a bunch of students. And I’ll write!” So, I got a bag full of dimes, and in the next nine days — I spent $9.80 — and I wrote Fahrenheit 451.

Ray Bradbury (1920-20120), one of the most celebrated science fiction writers of the 20th century, speaking to the graduating class of 2000 at commencement ceremonies held at the California Institute of Technology. Bradbury’s other classic works include The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, and Something This Way Comes.

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