On the day Ray Bradbury died, I was sitting at a computer loaned to me by a local library, working on the first draft of Howard Carter Saves the World. This is important because Mr. Bradbury, you see, didn’t own a typewriter when he started out. He rented one in the basement of UCLA’s Powell Library for $.10 per half hour. Fahrenheit 451 famously cost him $9.80 to write.
That’s a bargain by any measure.
If you’ve never used a typewriter to write anything of length, I invite you to go do so and come back to marvel with me at the economy of this claim. One of the great works of American Letters took less than 49 hours to complete. That’s a groundbreaking novel (originally published as a serial in Playboy magazine) written in 6 and a half standard workdays. All because its author was counting his dimes.
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