Why Buy a Typewriter in the 21st Century?
The answer is: Buy a typewriter because it’s the 21st Century. The tools we use to communicate can influence what we communicate. People might be writing more these days in the form of texts, posts, and emails, but the correspondence we create can be short, telegraphic, and sometimes shallow.
The process of writing on a typewriter can be a more intentional act than on a computer – it slows you down, forces you to keep a record of your process (through mark ups and edits), and the writing it invites is different from what you create on your laptop. People find that typewriters help when writing poetry, writing letters, and any creative piece. There are fewer distractions and the temptation to constantly edit while writing is removed, allowing you to keep a train of thought while writing.
Owning a typewriter allows you to hold something from the past that still functions and can produce a physical item that will also last. Typed or handwritten notes are a physical artifact of our thoughts and feelings, and we have a say over the paper’s fate after it is written – we can choose to send it to a single person, destroy it, or keep it for future generations. Digital texts and emails don’t allow us this control.
Collectors can be drawn to one company or to certain eras or to typewriters that use unusual mechanics or interesting typefaces and languages. Others want beautiful colors: bright reds and greens, textured prints; some look for the shape of the bodies, like vintage cars with shapes and colors that evoke certain eras. Owning and loving a typewriter keeps these important artifacts alive and safe from the scrap heap.
Typewriters are so closely associated with writers and thinkers of the 20th century. Having a typewriter in your office or den can be inspiring for modern-day writers. Interior designers and house stagers know that antique typewriters placed in a room give it an instant romantic, literary feel. And children are drawn to the machines instantly: they marvel at the fact that the keyboard instantly prints as you type. Film and theater set designers use typewriters to express specific time periods.