Typewronger Books — Edinburgh’s Hidden Gem
That the love of typewriters is a thing, becomes evident from Somsubhra Banerjee’s article that inspired this one. Such passion for outdated technology does not come naturally to me. Yet, I came to appreciate the charming appearance of typewritten verse in 2022 after my visit to Typewronger Books in Edinburgh, Scotland.
It was not love at first sight. I slowly descended the steps to an unpretentious-looking bookstore’s entrance. In true Harry Potteresque style that is so characteristic of Edinburgh, Scotland, the “entrance” gave away absolutely nothing. I might as well have opened what looked like a basement door and found myself in Diagon Alley on the other side!
Little did I know, that I would spend the next two hours with family rummaging through entertaining accounts written by independent writers, some graduates of the University of Edinburgh’s famous creative writing programs, and many other intriguing but unknown gems. Well, that shouldn’t be surprising in the world’s first city designated as a “City of Literature” by UNESCO.
It turns out that this bookstore specialises in selling, but also repairing old typewriters. That someone would take the pains to get an old dysfunctional typewriter repaired for a cost sounded absurd to me.
The book wizard at the front desk was kind enough to share snippets of how many writers still prefer to write on typewriters. Or how he has a typewriter there which when my daughter click-clacked, would generate a tweet! And, how he had sold metres and metres of books as “home office decoration” during the great golden age of Zoom (2020–22)!
What fascinated me the most, however, was how captivated I was with all the typewriters they had on display. Turquoise, mint green, plain white but also the classic grandfather typewriters — black with black keys and golden alphabets etched on them.