In my study I also require certain talismans that have washed onto my desk over the years, which I distractedly finger while I think of the next words to write. Renaissance scholars recommended keeping different objects in the study: musical and astronomical instruments to lend variety and harmony to the space, natural curiosities such as strangely shaped stones and coloured
shells, and portraits of Saint Jerome, patron saint of readers. I follow their recommendation in part. Among the objects on my desk are a horse-shaped soapstone from Congonhas do Campo, a bone carved into a skull from Budapest, a pebble from the Sibyl’s Cave near Cumae. If my library chronicles my life story, my study holds my identity.
The Library at Night by Alberto Manguel