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The Notes They Left

The Notes They Left

In the lower level of Literati Bookstore in Ann Arbor, Michigan, you can find an old typewriter ready and waiting for customers to leave their thoughts. And they do. Love letters, quotes, meditations on life. Poetry. Deeply-personal confessions.

“It’s just been a wonderful sort of diary of a town happening in a bookstore,” Gustafson tells NPR’s Ari Shapiro. “I read every single note because I’m terrified I’m going to miss something. I can’t throw away any of these notes.”

Customers have left thousands of anonymous messages since Gustafson and his wife Hilary began the public typewriter experiment back in 2013, when they opened the store.

And now, Michael — with designer Oliver Uberti — has collected some of his favorite notes and turned them into a book, Notes From a Public Typewriter.

Read the whole story here: ‘Notes From A Public Typewriter’ Muse On Everything From Cats To Commencement

If you came across this typewriter, what would you write?

This Post Has 7 Comments
  1. What a lovely idea. So often, as you advance in life, it seems you become more invisible, and your words become inaudible, too. This is a place to leave words of wisdom, whether you are young or old. ~~~

  2. This year for our son’s 37th birthday, I got him a fully manual Royal typewriter. (For 50 years, our family has combined hyper-cyber literacy AND classic Luddite literacy — if that makes sense.)

    He was estatic at his present. He is going to take it to the table out in their big shady backyard, and tap-tap away.

    I can’t wait to get a hand-typed letter from him in the mailbox.

  3. What a wonderful and thoughtful gesture. I loved reading some of the messages and
    was inspired to purchase and read the book. Thanks again!

  4. Being a man of 79 and 1/2 yrs, I’m going to rush to Amazon (not too old to indulge a little of the modern) to determine if they have the book.

  5. Sure enough, ‘ Notes From A Public Typewriter’ is there ($9.99 Kindle). Strange that they picked Ann Arbor, the original home of Border’s Books.
    As a native Michiganian, I wish them and the public typewriter continued success. Note from Texas.

  6. I wish I lived in Ann Arbor. I would drop in at least once a month if not more often. To catchup on new entries and leave one of my own. A place to leave a comment and feel like a true writer. Guess I’ll settle for the book..

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