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It cost Ray Bradbury $9.80 to write Fahrenheit 451.

Apparently the price of success is just under $10—or 10 cents per half hour if you want to get technical. That’s how much the late author Ray Bradbury paid in 1951 to rent a typewriter in the basement of UCLA’s Powell Library, where, over the course of nine days, he shaped his masterwork of 20th-century literature. “When the timer on the typewriter would end, he’d go upstairs and read Shakespeare, Poe, Dickens, Melville—all the classics,” says Bradbury’s biographer Sam Weller. “He’d read and read, then rush downstairs when inspiration struck.” Bradbury, who would’ve turned 93 this month, composed his acclaimed dystopian novel about book burning in just 49 hours. First published in 1953, it has been translated into 35 languages and sold tens of millions of copies. That’s quite the payout on an investment of less than a ten spot. 

 

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