A quiet space to write

Friday, July 9, 2010

The New York Observer takes a tour of the Allen Room, a room in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building of the New York Public Library reserved exclusively for working writers. Authors gain access with a keycard granted by showing a photocopy of a book contract as collateral.

The room's real secret isn't exclusivity though: it's the lack of Wi-Fi:

Susan Jacoby, an emeritus who has written six books in the Allen Room over the past 30 years, describes the room as a place whose primary virtue isn't its roster of literary celebrities (including Robert Hughes and Mike Wallace, both of whom still drop by), but rather its lack of Wi-Fi. "Going on the Internet when you're stuck is about as valuable as eating ice cream from the fridge when you're stuck," she told the Transom. "Which I also do-eat ice cream. But anyway, here I'm not tempted to go online and watch Sarah Palin cut the head off a turkey."

I like this idea, but since I don't live in New York or have a book contract, I'm going to create my own exclusive "Wood Room" at home. Qualified applicants for admission must be over the age of 6, potty trained, and able to turn on the Shrek DVD themselves.