11 Reasons to Use a Typewriter, According to Tom Hanks

From the creation of the QWERTY keyboard to the world’s first portable typing machine, Typewriters is a visual homage to the golden age of the typewriter.



And you know who really, really loves typewriters? The one and only Tom Hanks. So much so that he wrote the foreword of the book, which we are sharing here today.

There are only eleven reasons to use a typewriter:

1. Your penmanship is illegible. I mean, unreadable, so cocked-up and irregular that you use block printing and flowing script in the same five-letter word. The kind of handwriting that one of those legal experts would examine for a trial and say, “Oh, he’s guilty!”

2. You can’t afford or are just too thickheaded to figure out a computer.

3. Your religion forbids the use of machinery invented after 1867, when John Pratt came up with the Pterotype.

4. The Communists are back in power. Their technology sort of maxed out with space rockets and typewriters, and at about the same time.

5. You want the assurance that your letter/note/receipt/speech/test or quiz/school report will, most likely, be kept for a long time, perhaps forever. It’s a fact: no one chucks anything typewritten into the trash after just one reading. E-mails? I delete most before I see the electronic signature.

6. You take great pleasure in the tactile experience of typing——the sound, the physical quality of touch, the report and action of type-bell-return, the carriage, and the satisfaction of pulling a completed page out of the machine, raaappp!

7. If what you are writing is lengthy, the distraction of rolling another page into the carriage allows you to collect your thoughts.

8. You are an artist, equal to Picasso, and everything you type is a one-of-a-kind work. The combination of paper quality, the age of the ribbon, the minute quirks of your machine, the occasional misuse of the space bar, and the options of the margins and tabs all add up to make anything you type as varied and unique as the thoughts in your head and the ridges of your fingerprints. Everything you type is a snowflake all its own.

9. You own a typewriter. It has been serviced and works just fine. The ribbon is fresh. You keep the machine out on a table at the correct height, not locked away in a closet still in its case. You have next to it a small stack of stationery and maybe some envelopes. The typewriter is ready and easy to use any time of the day.

10. You really want to bother the other customers at the coffee place.

11. Typewriter = Chick Magnet.

—Tom Hanks

Best of luck!

Jenna Homen

Jenna Homen

Content and Community Manager at Chronicle Books. When she's logged off, she can be found painting, cooking, camping, or petting her dog Harley. You can follow her on Twitter at @jn_na.
Jenna Homen



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