Typewriters and books well on the way to Dodo-dom

Posted on by Mike Evans

The last typewriter factory in the world is in jeopardy, so says Gizmodo today. But whether that’s right or not, there is surely not much life left in the old banger. Sure, it has a limited attraction in nations where bureaucracy reigns because it is capable of creating multiple copies with the aid of carbon paper. That’s about it.

The days of the typewriter are numbered, if not over. To convince myself, I dragged out my 1924 Imperial and hammered out a few sentences. Unfortunately the ribbon has dried up and I now have no idea where to get a replacement. There is a certain satisfaction to pounding the keys and hearing the mechanical response, but I can now live without it. The experience did, however, reminded me of something else: Reading a book.

In three years I have not opened, and have certainly never read a one. Nor have I read a newspaper for that matter. Why would I indulge in such an unrewarding experience? Books are heavy, they are bulky and, when you’ve finished, they don’t turn into the next volume in the series as they do on the Kindle. When you go on holiday books take up space in the case and give you a limited choice of reading material.

No, books are dead. My entire library now is stored somewhere in the ether and I have instant access to any of my current favourites and also to any classic that takes my fancy. I can read on my iPhone, my iPad, my Mac or my Kindle. What need have I of books made of paper? Within a few years they will have gone the way of the Remington, the Imperial and the Royal. The book is dead, long live the ebook.

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