My first desk was a thing of wonder. Each time I pulled out its single drawer, it was like opening that fantastically shaped present under the Christmas tree-- I never knew exactly what I would find. Crayons? Watercolors? Alphabet practice papers? Animal crackers? We had a great year together, that desk and I. Sadly, Kindergarten ended and I had to part from my desk.
But the next year, my antique-hunting parents found a beautiful little roll-top desk that was just my size. It had three drawers on the right side, two little shelves and a skinny drawer under the roll-top, and a secret little piece that slid out. It was made of oak and had a matching swivel chair. As I sat at that desk I could feel the words flowing from my number two pencil, and I could see the Great American Novel appearing on the page before me. Unfortunately, no one else was too interested in my narrative of a girl who ran away from home and ate lots of chocolate-chip cookies. I thought it had a fascinating plot.
From then on, each year at school I got a new desk, in a new room, with new things filling them, but none of them could compare to MY desk waiting for me at home. Many stories, poems and journal entries were penned at that desk, and I'm sure it had something to do with my aspirations of being an author. Sadly, but thankfully, I've now outgrown that little desk and find myself searching for a suitable replacement in my "grown-up" size.
It needs to hold all of the magic that my little roll-top did, but also have room for me to spread my books out and study, and have a place for my computer and printer. There are all sorts of desks, more than I had ever imagined. There are computer desks, corner computer desks, glass desks, desks in L shapes, desks in U shapes, straight desks, I could go on for ages.
When you're looking for a desk, there are just a few simple things to keep in mind. One, will it hold everything you want it to hold? Does it have space for your organizational system? Can it support the amount of weight you'll be putting on it? Do you like the way it looks? And I think most importantly, does it inspire you?
Because of my abiding attachment to my little roll-top, I am usually attracted to straight wood desks and hutches. Except now, instead of images of runaway little girls and chocolate chip cookies, they give me a feeling of kinship to people who've influenced me through their writing. You know, that sense you get when you hear a Beethoven sonata and you know exactly what he was thinking when he wrote it, it just sings through your being. I feel the encouragement of Hemingway and Tolstoy and Tolkien, and all the magic of my kindergarten desk drawer is back.
Of all the desks I've looked at, the one closest to perfect for me is produced by Home Styles; it's a student desk and hutch with just the right amount of storage space and charm. It's made from poplar and cherry, with a warm oak finish, as well as a clear coat to guard against the inevitable wear and tear a student's desk will go through. Sitting at it I can't help but go back to my writing daydreams; I'm wearing a full skirt and penning invitations to the ball at my uncle's manor, or passionate revolutionary describing my political philosophy.
I hope that when you look for a new desk, you don't look solely for function, although that certainly shouldn't be counted out. I'd ask you to look carefully, sit at each one, and get a sense for it. Don't settle for the first one that goes on sale. Wait patiently, and you'll find the desk that is filled with magic just for you, so when you sit down and pull out a pen, you'll feel like the next Hemingway, or whatever it is you want to be. That's the desk you belong to.