Yes, I usually only read fiction, however this little tome combined two of my favorite loves: bookstores and typewriters. I’ve always loved the vellichor of bookstores and could spend hours happily loosing track of time in them. Typewriters were an early love for me – ever since I received a ‘real’ portable typewriter the Christmas I was seven years old.
This is the story of an independent ‘community’ bookstore.
The Literati Book Store located in Ann Arbor, Michigan was the realized dream of a young couple, Mike and Hilary Gustafson.
On the morning the store opened, Mike Gustafson set out a typewriter for anyone to use. It was an experiment that paid off in spades. The typewriter became part of the store’s identity and is now part of the store logo. All types of notes were found left on the machine. Love notes, jokes, haikus, confessions, quotations, and personal philosophies. Over time there were so many anonymous notes that the owner decided to share some of them on social media and store newsletters. Eventually customers, friends and family encouraged him to compile them into a book. And “Notes from a public typewriter” was born.
Thousands and thousands of notes have been left at the store. Some funny, some poignant, always ‘real’, they may touch your heart or tickle your funny bone.
People vent their frustrations, share their melancholy, lament their losses, and celebrate their joys.
The store hired an artist to paint some of the notes on the exterior of the building. It is now a very popular place for photo opportunities and attracts many. It has even been a wedding venue!
I have to confess… this is the first book I’ve read in ages. A strange statement from a book blogger right? Although I own thousands of hardcover books, I now usually always read on my Kindle and by far prefer that format, however this lovely little book wouldn’t have converted well to any ‘E’ format. Packed with irregular spacing and myriad pictures, this is a book to be treasured in paper form.
If you want a first hand account of the Literati Book Store story, there is a short video on the store’s website. Literati Book Store now has over 18 thousand Instagram followers and over 9 thousand Twitter followers. In an age when independent bookstores are suffering from a slow demise, the Literati Book Store in Ann Arbor, Michigan seems to have found a niche all their own and are successfully celebrating their achievements.
This book will be available for purchase on March 27th and would make an ideal gift either for friends and family or …yourself. ISBN 978 1538 729113
Thanks to Morgan Swift/Hachette Book Group who sent me a lovely hardcover of this book for review purposes.
Hachette Book Group/Grand Central Publishing has generously agreed to provide one lucky Fictionophile reader with a copy of “Notes from a public typewriter“. This giveaway is open to residents of Canada and the United States and the winner will be chosen by the web tool Random Name Picker. To enter your name in the draw you must:
(a) enter a comment on this post stating your country of residence and that you would like to enter the giveaway, OR
(b) share this review on Twitter and add to the tweet “I live in the U.S. and I want to enter the #Giveaway” OR “I live in Canada and I want to enter the #Giveaway”.
The lucky winner will be chosen on March 30th, 2018.
Michael Gustafson is the co-owner of the Literati Book Store in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He lives in Ann Arbor with his wife Hilary.
Oliver Uberti is a graphic designer and co-author of two award-winning books of maps and graphics. He lives in Los Angeles, California.