BRADENTON, Fla. – Author Stephen King came to southwest Florida to support local libraries.

The Library Foundation supporting the Manatee County Public Library System asked King to speak Thursday at an annual author event. The Herald reported that $200 tickets for King’s talk sold out, and the foundation met its $100,000 fundraising goal. The money will help fund a new library computer system.

King told the crowd at the Manatee Performing Arts Center about his childhood in Maine, where there was no library nearby. He said he developed a hunger for books while waiting for the bookmobile to make its rounds with more novels.

The bestselling horror writer said he’s often uncomfortable with his public persona. He said that at some point in his career, he became “America’s best-loved bogey man.”