My happy place: Graham Beattie, blogger

Graham Beattie loves his cluttered library. Photo / NZH
Graham Beattie loves his cluttered library. Photo / NZH

I am fortunate enough to spend more time in my happy place than anywhere else. My happy place is my office/library. It's on the ground floor of our three-level townhouse in Ponsonby.

It occupies about 10 per cent of our home, with three of the four walls lined with books, floor to ceiling, while the outside wall has a window and double doors to a small patio with a two-seater chair, herb garden, olive tree and ferns.

On weekdays I am typically in my office around 5.45am, scouring the internet for news from the book publishing and bookselling world, which I then put on my blog with links back to the source. I usually have a coffee about 7.30am, then breakfast, before heading back downstairs around 9am.

I head off to the gym, post office and supermarket around 10am, which occupies the rest of my morning, and then after lunch I am back to the office/library for reading and writing book reviews until about 6pm, when I head upstairs to start the dinner prep and pour myself a glass of chardonnay.

So, typically, I am in my happy place seven to eight hours a day. I call it my happy place because when there I am completely surrounded by books. These are books I love; books I published during my book publishing days, books I have bought from around the world on my travels, books I have bought locally, and books I have been sent for review. There are, I guess, several thousand of them - a lot of crime fiction novels (my preferred reading for relaxation), books about places visited, atlases and dictionaries, books about books, biographies of writers, histories of English literature, books of quotations (collected long before internet days), poetry, books by New Zealand writers, travel guides, cookbooks and books on wine.

The room also has a desk with my laptop on it, a comfortable office chair, a separate leather reading chair, and another desk on which sit books that I have not yet read. These are mainly books to be reviewed but also include books I have bought on impulse and not yet had time to read. This desk is also shared by some of my hats. Although I have the occasional visitor I like the room best when I am here alone, which is most of the time. It has, of course, a slightly bookish smell, which I like.

Graham Beattie, a former publisher, writes one of New Zealand's most popular blogs,

• He's been a presenter at the Auckland Readers and Writers Festival, which ends today.

- Herald on Sunday

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