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7 Reasons To Be A 'Typochondriac'

A typist on an Olivetti Valentine model that was popular in the 1970's

It’s easy to find someone interested in vinyl records or antique furniture. Now the new retro trend seems to be collecting typewriters. On Saturday at noon, typewriter enthusiasts of all ages will bring their machines to Bookbugin Kalamazoo for a Type-In. 

Here's a few reasons typewriter fans love their machines:

  1. It forces you to think before you write, says WMUK news director Andy Robins. It's much more difficult to "erase" a mistake on a typewriter versus a computer.
  2. It's low maintenance and easier to fix than a computer. Robins says just keep your typewriter dust-free and clean, and put on new ribbons and oil the pivots when it needs it.
  3. No eye strain - enough said.
  4. It's private and independent. Typewriter guru Richard Polt says with other writing avenues on the internet like blogs or even Facebook, almost anyone can find a way to read it. With a typewriter, there's no middle-man. Polt says, as a bonus, you're not constantly seeking the approval of "likes" or comments on your work.
  5. Famous writers used it, like Ernest Hemingway and Jack Kerouac. There are even current artists using typewriters today, like actor Tom Hanks. Hanks came out with an app that imitates a typewriter called The Hanks Writer.
  6. Each kind of typewriter is unique says WMUK freelance reporter Chris Killian. Killian uses a typewriter for his blog. There are typewriters that can type in different colored ink as well as typewriters that can type in cursive and italics.
  7. It's an aesthetic experience. "You open it up, you sit with it, you drink a coffee, and read it. It’s something that is in your hands, you know?" says Chris Killian. "It’s maybe one of the same reasons that people never want to see books die away even though the Kindle is on fire—no pun intended.” 

Richard Polt hopes to release his book “The Typewriter Insurgency” sometime this year. You can join Southwest Michigan typewriter enthusiasts, The Kalamazoo Typochondriacs, at the Type-In Saturday at noon at Bookbugin Kalamazoo.

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