Amy Bloom
Cheryl Strayed

My Writing Spot

I located my writing spot while here at Yale and have been working there the past few days.


Outside the dining hall are some stairs to the second floor. 


They lead to the Davenport College Library.


On the library tables you find such appropriate titles as:





Plus large volumes like: 


The plaque over the fireplace informs when the room was remodeled:


In the far back corner I found my nook.


When I take a break from writing and revising, I examine the shelves and the pictures on the walls.  Besides photos of Rev. Davenport's grave and the original campus of Yale, there are these pictures of gentlemen.  What do you think of men's fashion and grooming in 1871?


The nook contains some interesting books.



(Glad to know we are in the fourth edition of the Earth.)

I enjoy browsing an old library and exploring strange and interesting titles.  I picked up this volume . . .


. . . to see what the class of 1933 might have accomplished.  Apparently they enjoyed drinking before a fire.


And I learned that the freshman year is a "Dim, paleolithic time obscured by the ever increasing fog of intervening years" (maybe due to too much drinking before fires?).  


My little nook also contains early twentieth century works of natural history.


The Natural History of Selborne was rather dry, but I was drawn to Galapagos: World's End.  


Old books are works of art in the printing and the binding, not just the writing.

Henry Fairfield Osborn, the President of the New York Zoological Society in 1923 wrote the foreword in which he enjoys using exclamation marks in celebrating Charles Darwin.


Osborn reminds us that Darwin was in the islands for only five weeks, and then Osborn declares, "Only five weeks, but five weeks of Darwin's eyes and Darwin's powers of observation and reasoning were equivalent to a whole previous cycle of human thought. At the time he was only twenty-six years of age . . ."

The opening of the first chapter of the book does not read as boring natural history (no Natural History of Selborne this).


"winter camouflage of the aristocracy of yachts"--What a phrase!

And when I read of "sea-moss and barnacles acquired in alien seas on voyages of other years" I longed to snuggle up in one of the overstuffed armchairs and read of grand adventure on the high seas.

Alas, I have my own book to write, so back to the table and the laptop.


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