Share Your Shelf with YA Author Tochi Onyebuchi
1. My Bookcases. In addition to the three rather spartan swiftly-constructed ones I began with, I have two recently purchased IKEA cases that now house not only the overflow but two paintings a dear friend made for me in commemoration of my first two novels
2. My magazine subscriptions. I’m only upto-date on the London Review of Books and perilously behind on Vanity Fair and Harper’s and WIRED, but I know that whenever I look to them, take a peek at their glossy pages, and read the astounding reporting and essays inside, I’m bound to be inspired. From these places, I get not only story ideas but lessons on new ways to work my own prose.
3. Moleskines. I have too many. Way too many.
4. Moleskine Go 1.0 pens. I have too many. Way too many.
5. My Funko Pops. Both Erik Killmonger and Miles Morales were gifted to me by dear friends, and I keep them both on the shelf above my writing desk like the good angel and the malevolent daemon, guiding just what journeys I put my characters on.
6. Writing desk: It’s a simple thing, kind of minimalist in design with room for my legs and two shelves built in so that I can have whatever I need—research materials, random novels, bags of candy—easily at hand.
7. Over-the-ear headphones. I often write to music (depends often on the book or type of story or what I’m currently vibing to).
8. Yerba Maté. I’m a recent convert. (One of my favorite music producers extolled its virtues.) But it has become my energy drink of choice.
9. My phone. This may sound counterintuitive, given how distracting social media can be, but. I keep many ideas and phrases that come to mind on my Notes app, and it’s truly a lifesaver having them around whenever I need.
10. My books. Not necessarily ones I wrote but ones that inspire me, that teach me. Novels, essay collections, graphic novel omnibuses. They surround me, and writing with them near is like Superman in close proximity to the sun from which he draws his energy.
Do you listen to music while reading? Do you use headphones or not?
Let us know in the comments.
"Writing desk: It’s a simple thing, kind of minimalist in design with room for my legs and two shelves built in so that I can have whatever I need—research materials, random novels, bags of candy—easily at hand." - @TochiTrueStory #bookishessentials
This article was originally printed in the Winter 2019 issue of Curiositales. If you would like to receive a free digital copy of the magazine, sign up for our newsletter at the top of this page! Then, confirm your email address (be sure to check your spam folder). Once you click the link in your welcome email, you'll get regular news from Curiositales, including notifications when the latest magazine is published. You can unsubscribe whenever you like. Or, you can read it for free here.
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