Library ownership has been always inseparable from writing, whether this activity was limited to personal notes and correspondences or rose to the heights of literary accomplishments that were destined to outlive their authors. Pens and quills always went alongside with books. In our digital age, unfortunately, superb writing instruments became almost obsolete. They can, however, be successfully used as decorative accessories in a personal library or study. These slick metal objects look great on any desk, especially in a pen holder or a special pen display box. Vintage pens can be rather expensive, but they can be seen as great collector items. Many modern manufacturers of quality pens continue the tradition of excellency: Cross, Parker, Cartier. In view of the eventual demise of handwriting (sorry to break the news!) you will soon be able to buy the very last of mass produced pens — historic artifacts that will be treasured for generations to come.
Just some facts about writing habits and quirks of several famous authors. Inevitably, writing accessories are a part of many such peculiar traits. Or perhaps, some writers created their own writing accessories?
Henry L. Mencken, Edgar Allan Pe, May Sarton and Maxime Kumin liked to do their writing in attic rooms.
Flannery O’Connor turned her desk away from the window.
Edna St. Vincent Millay used a one-room cabin in the woods.
Balzac used to drink over 10 cups of coffee every day.
Dan Brown keeps an hourglass on his desk and, on the hour, puts aside his manuscript to perform push-ups, sit-ups, and stretches.
Blanche D’Alpuget, when writing on the computer, printed a first draft and then deleted the original file. She then typed the entire book again from the printouts.
Nabokov wrote on index cards, standing up at a lectern, wearing socks.
Alexandre Dumas, the father, ate an apple at 7 a.m. each morning under the Arc de Triomphe.
Friedrich Schiller could not stand the smell of food being prepared, while writing. He had a kitched built at a considerable distance from the house.
Saint-Pol-Roux hung the inscription “The Poet Is Working” from his door while he slept.
Here are a few desks and writing tables that were used by some popular writers. Reading and writing accessories, as well as traditional decor elements can be seen in several of these pictures. You can just imagine the countless hours that these famous writers spent behind these desks, composing eternal masterpieces!
Charles Dickens’s desk
Herman Hesse’s desk
J.R.R. Tolkien’s desk
F. Schiller’s desk
B. Shaw’s desk
Mark Twain’s desk
Jane Austen’s writing table
Leo Tolstoy’s desk
C.S. Lewis’ desk