King of the Stacks

So there I was, wittering on about libraries the other day and then this afternoon, reading the 200th issue of SFX Magazine, I found someone else has been talking about them too – but much, muuuuch better.

What’s the secret of being Stephen King?

Libraries are the reason that I’m here. Without libraries I’m probably working in a mill somewhere or teaching school somewhere, which is an honourable job, but probably not what I was meant to do. In the library I came by a book by Frank Norris called “McTeague” and I just lost myself in that book; and I said, “I want to be able to do this.” I came to the end of the book when McTeague is in a desert, chained to a dead man, beside the railroad tracks. I said, “I want to do this. I want to do to somebody else what I feel now, which is some kind of life-changing experience…”

I met my wife in the library. She was a librarian. It’s been over 40 years and she still holds it over my head that while I could roll books around, she could shelve… To me, books were food. They were what I ate, what I drank, what I wanted.

You know what? I’m not going to argue about that, and certainly not with Stephen King.

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