The place where I like to write

Good coffee, good atmosphere -- what could be better?

Good coffee, good atmosphere -- what could be better?

The notebook that accompanies me on my travels is full of bullet points to remind me of articles or chapters I've already composed, but not yet written. But the place where I prefer to write is a café.

It is full of books and magazines, which not only creates a fine bibliographic atmosphere but also encourages me when my self-doubt starts winning.

There is no music, but there is wi-fi, so I can distract myself when necessary by pretending to do research.

There are always other customers, taking ages over their Americanos while they read. Nobody tells us to hurry up.

The general, low, hub-bub of people talking is good background -- better than music, which can be intrusive. I read somewhere that a general, amorphous, chatter is good for creativity, and that is absolutely true (for me at least) even though it sounds a bit counter-intuitive.

The chairs are soft enough to get comfortable in, but not so much that you sink into them. The key thing is that they are easy to write or type in without acquiring a bad back in the process.

In fact, this café, which is called the Bibliophile's Café, is ideal in every respect but one: it happens to be in another city, 200 miles from where I live.

My search for the ideal environment continues.