“I’m completely library educated. I’ve never been to college.”
While digging for a 1971 Ray Bradbury essay called “How, Instead of Being Educated in College, I Was Graduated From Libraries,” I came across this Paris Review interview again.
Loved this bit about him stealing magazines:
I used to steal magazines from a store on Genesee Street, in Waukegan, and read them and then steal them back on the racks again. That way I took the print off with my eyeballs and stayed honest. I didn’t want to be a permanent thief, and I was very careful to wash my hands before I read them.
Bradbury claimed that the library was way more fun than school “because you make up your own list and you don’t have to listen to anyone.”
He considered the library a self-invention station:
I am a librarian. I discovered me in the library. I went to find me in the library. Before I fell in love with libraries, I was just a six-year-old boy. The library fueled all of my curiosities, from dinosaurs to ancient Egypt. When I graduated from high school in 1938, I began going to the library three nights a week. I did this every week for almost ten years and finally, in 1947, around the time I got married, I figured I was done. So I graduated from the library when I was twenty-seven. I discovered that the library is the real school.