9 Reasons why to buy & use a typewriter.
In today’s digital age, it may seem to be outdated to own or purchase a typewriter and use on a regular basis until things have changed, and typewriters are making a tremendous come back between all ages & backgrounds & surprisingly used in many different & creative ways.
This blog has been a work in progress for a while now as I felt like it is about time to make a point and give solid reasons & facts to justify buying a typewriter & using it when and where we are swamped with technologies and digitized electronics that are supposed to make our life easier.
Funny enough, as I was typing the previous paragraph on my typewriter, my distracting mobile phone’s screen notified me that my battery is low & leaving me no choice but start with this first reason.
The day I started typing my blogs on a typewriter, it felt different in a pleasant way.
The flow of ideas and thoughts never ends as I am hammering the keys and I rarely get distracted by the typewriter itself other than the elegant notification sound of the bell at the end of the line.
No emails, pop-ups, alerts, or notifications to grab your attention and cut the stream of thoughts that might not be able to remember later and lose the chance to record them before they depart.
You will be surprised how much more productive & focused you will be when typing on a typewriter compared to using a computer.
The typewriter is not connected to the internet, so all your attention will be on typing and what you wish to type with no interruptions.
I got into the habit of leaving a typewriter in my study room as when I need to totally disconnect for 1 hour from the daily craziness and rush. I regularly enjoy typing my thoughts, how I am feeling or expressing myself without interruptions. Priceless.
Whether you are typing your next novel or a short haiku, imagination plays a big role in creative writing.
Typing on a typewriter unleashes creativity compared to the ease of computers that be a double-edged sword exposing you to different distractions, lead to procrastination with social media & you might end up comparing your work to others which kills all your creativity and hinders refining it.
Typing will ensure the stream of thoughts flow and stimulate creativity & whatever is typed cannot be instantly deleted as a small irrelevant notion now can be a great concept while rereading what you at first, assumingly, mistyped or adjusted while you were in the tide of continuous typing.
The typewriter will not suggest alternative words or phrases & auto correct feature won’t help you spell words leaving you are in complete control of what is typed on the paper and no one else’s voice but yours to be heard through the text itself.
Its totally ok to slow down.
Therefore, to get back in touch with your creative writing, don’t second guess it, typing on a typewriter is your muse.
picture credit to forbes.com
Aesthetic appeal & vintage charm.
Personally, due to our daily work with typewriters, we have been exposed to 100s of typewriter models and designs, & I still can’t keep my eyes from looking at them every day and enjoying their endless magical charm that leaves you uncapable of stopping your self but trying to strike on one key or take a long glimpse on the detailed design that was created years ago before all the current soulless products of our age have been manufactured & designed.
I cannot but delightfully enjoy sharing our typewriter collection with our friends and explaining how each one is special in a different way from design, colour, typeface, background & history. What you might perceive as two similar looking typewriters can include a few differences when we explain it to prove how some typewriters can be special in the tiniest details.
The quirkiest scene is when I am waiting for another special typewriter to arrive & I rarely hide my excitement to explore how the typewriter looks like in the flesh and what sort of sounds it will leave while typing on it or returning the line spacing lever.
I know that many of my friends and fellow collectors enjoy eye spotting typewriter in movies and series as they are appearing more often now & production companies intentionally and smartly are including more often the relevant typewriter models to the filmed era to complete the realness & genuineness of the story.
Typewriters are nostalgic and can evoke memories to simpler times when people used them daily to write letters or novels & if you have a fond memory of using a typewriter as a child, then this can be a stimulus when choosing one for yourself.
Enhanced tactile & sensory experience.
The sound of typing on a typewriter is soothing and satisfying when you are in the flow. Clickity-clack of the keys is like music to the ear for some people and it helps them calm down and relax.
We had clients requesting to hear the sound of the dinging bell at the end of the line before ordering the typewriter as they wish it to sound in a specific way, some like it to loud & others like it to be crispy clear when typing.
On the other hand, several clients ordered typewriters to enhance their own or children’s tactile senses and be able to use their fingers to type and feel the keys when hammered as it is important for our fine motor skills. It requires from us to stay more focused while typing to make sure we have minimum grammar or spelling mistakes.
I Have typed many letters and articles on my typewriters, and I can absolutely confirm that typing on a laptop or desktop is significantly less interactive and my fingers are barely moving.
When was the last time you have been able to sell your used laptop, iMac, or desktop for more than its original price?
The answer is never as all the newly manufactured electronics are made to survive for 3 to 5 years and normally start to lose their reliability after various updates, newer apps & limited space to download all the programs and files. They just get tired.
On the other hand, one of our beloved typewriters, made in 1919, a Corona 3 folding typewriter, manufactured 104 years ago, types like a dream after our restoration & maintenance, it folds within it’s carrying case and fits into any of our travel luggage.
Sarcastically, Last time I updated it was when I changed the ribbons in 2021 and its still effortlessly typing as if it’s the 1920s.
Electronic technologies previously mentioned lose value year after year while a typewriter you bought in 1990s is twice its value in 2023 if not 4 times more.
While the value has appreciated, the cost to get a properly and genuinely restored typewriter also increased, it can cost 10 to 20 times more than what it used to cost new from the store when it was firstly produced.
A more personal touch.
Lots of potential clients from different backgrounds contacted us to buy or restore a typewriter to type personalised cards, letters and notes to their friends, families or even to their clients. Using a typewriter adds a personal touch and makes the recipient feel special as its not a template that was mass printed and sent to hundreds of people at the same time. A personalised letter, typed on a typewriter will be fully read, at least once, and usually more appreciated as the sender put the effort to type it without any support of any technologies other than the typewriter in front of them.
During the covid -19 pandemic, millions have people been asked to stay home after a global lockdown & this gave people a lot of time to spend indoors experimenting a lot of things they usually do not attempt to try during the excessively busy life.
Typing on a typewriter & sending stamped mail, “Snail Mail” was one of those activities that many of us did and surprisingly the typewriter orders surged during this hard period and did not stop as people enjoyed the personal touch of typing a letter required & waiting for a typed or hand-written reply made the experience more fun.
I follow Danielle Steel on Instagram and every now and then, she shares with her followers her typing session on her huge Olympia SG1 that took a lot of hammering and lots of novel drafts have been typed on this typewriter.
Woody Allen have always used his Olympia SM3 to type his scripts & I can’t forget the great Leonard Cohen who used an Olivetti Lettera 22 to type all the lyrics for his out of this world songs.
The new generation of typists look at these role models for inspiration and when they realize that they used a typewriter to come out with these dazzling novels, books & songs, buying a typewriter can be stimulating their inner creativity and can as a start help them slow down to get more centre and focus while typing what they feel or scripting a new story that might be the next “Harry Potter” series.
8. Typed papers can be transferred to a file.
You are probably wondering whether you can copy your typed documents to your computer well rest assured you can. There are several apps and software out there that can scan your typed letter and convert it into WORD document or PDF.
You can even edit them if you had mistakes with spelling or grammar. For example, this article was typed on an Olympia SM9 typewriter with elite typeface, and I scanned all my script to a word file and edited what needs to be edited in less than 5 minutes.
9. Typewriters are eco-friendly.
I am a die-hard collector and restorer of manual typewriters and not really a big fan of electric typewriters for a handful of reasons & one of them is that the later consumes electricity while manual typewriters will not need to be connected to electricity to operate.
Any power outage or disruption can’t stop you from typing, all you need is your typewriter and a pack of papers without the need of any chargers or cables.
Typewriters will not go out of battery & will not require any updates when the only thing you need to do other than maintaining it, is changing the typewriter ribbon - widely available - that can serve you for at least 1 million characters before replacing.
Another point that I believe we can agree on is that a vintage typewriter displayed looks much better than any old laptop or computer. Therefore, they survived more than a hundred years and will for hundreds more.
After all, Buying your first typewriter and even the perfect one for your self is another topic that I will tackle soon, but sharing with you the reasons why I would buy a typewriter and type on it is something I have always wanted to explain as acquiring a typewriter may be another device added inside our houses but it offers many benefits that cannot be found in modern technology. It's time to embrace the nostalgia and invest in this timeless tool for writers everywhere!
I agree 100%. I’ve been typing since the age of 16 when I first took a typing class in High School. I continued typing through my Naval Career. Worked in the ship’s office because of my typing skills. I am now 73 years old and own 15 typewriters. Most of which are Smith-Corona’s from the 50’s & 60’s. A few Royal’s, one Underwood portable & two Olympia’s. One SM4 & one SM9. All work great and look like new. I use each one everyday so they get used. Great information.