Public Typewriter

For my last birthday I was gifted a delightful book called Notes From a Public Typewriter edited by Michael Gustafson and Oliver Uberti, published by Scribe Publications in 2018. I read it from cover to cover in one sitting and loved it. Now it sits on my coffee table and I often dip back into it and savour it some more.

Michigan bookshop owner Michael Gustafson decided to leave a typewriter outside his shop and anyone could sit down and type whatever they wanted. It was a community-building exercise. The result was a collection of heartfelt, wise, funny and thought-provoking messages. Michael picked his favourites and published them.

This wonderful little book ticks so many boxes for me! Community. Creativity. Simple Living. All my favourite things rolled into one neat package.

You can imagine how excited I was a couple of weeks ago to see that Springwood Library had set up a community typewriter for the month of May. I felt a bit awestruck when I saw it. I loved seeing and touching a typewriter again. I tentatively typed ‘peregrineblue’ and then lost my nerve! It was loud! I didn’t want to disturb the other people in the library. I took a quick photo and left but I kept thinking about it all week.

This week I went back to check on the typewriter to see if anyone else had been braver than me and done some more typing. There was! A young boy was typing when I arrived. He was much bolder than me and wasn’t worried about making too much noise.

I feel sad that May is almost over and that the vintage Remington Ten Forty typewriter will be returned to a vault under the library. Maybe we could petition the librarians to bring it out again soon. I was just working up the courage to type some more.

Thank you to the staff at Springwood Library for being creative and community minded and for encouraging us to appreciate the simple things.

A quote from the book:

Maybe one day we will write enough books and read enough words to understand each other.

I hope.