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California Typewriter

February 22, 2018

Clickety-clack! The typewriter is back!

I love when people geek out about things. I, myself, have fangirl-ed Joss Whedon, The Dukes of Hazzard (don’t judge), and anything remotely related to Gilmore.

I think that’s why I enjoyed this documentary so much. It was a brilliant look at a group of people who are dedicated to a dying art: the typewriter. Tom Hanks, John Mayer, David McCullough and Sam Shepard all wax nostalgic about their favorite machines. Hanks is such a devotee that he created an app to make computers work like typewriters and he wrote a book about short stories that all feature the typewriter in some way.

The movie also documents the struggles of one of the last typewriter repair shops in the country—California Typewriter in Berkeley, CA. During the filming of the movie, owner Herbert L. Permillion put the building up for sale and seriously considered getting out of the business. But his dedication to his craft kept him working. A quick internet search revealed that California Typewriter is still a going concern as of this writing.

One of the customers at California Typewriter was Jeremy Mayer, artist extraordinaire. Jeremy takes apart old and dying typewriters and makes sculptures out of their parts. Some people—like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg—are fans, but others hate what he does because he has to destroy old typewriters to create. I thought his sculptures were interesting, but I’m not sure I’d want one in my house.

I must admit that I’m not the biggest fan of the typewriter. My mom had one when I was growing up, but I was always so frustrated when I made a mistake. It was too cumbersome to use. I much prefer a computer—but that’s just me. Maybe it’s my age.

Even if you are not a typewriter aficionado, this movie is good. Fangirls and fanboys unite. The revolution will be typewritten.

Happy typing…
:) Amanda

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Amanda is a classically-trained pianist who loves to read. Like any good librarian, she also has two cats named after Italian cities. Amanda spends her free time sitting in Nashville traffic, baking, and running the Interlibrary Loan office at the Nashville Public Library.