There’s nothing quite like the whir of a typewriter or the clanging of the keys as you type a letter to a loved one.
Such is the inspiration for “TIK TIK TIK: Type-In Kirkland,” an event offering members of the public the chance to try one of 20 typewriters owned by Houghton resident Cabot Guidry. It will run from 2-4 p.m. Sunday, April 2, at BookTree, located at 609 Market Street.
“My mission is to expose people to typewriters,” Guidry said. “I’d like to have them all around in Kirkland.”
“We’re pretty excited about (the type-in); it’s something different,” Chris Jarmick, co-owner of BookTree, added. “We are living in a world of screens, and more and more people are realizing it’s kind of valuable to take a break.”
Both Guidry and Jarmick said one of the main goals of the event is to get people to unplug and engage in something other than a phone, TV or computer screen.
This is the third type-in event Guidry has held in Kirkland. Previous events were held at the Juanita Starbucks and the Kirkland Library.
“Getting venues in Kirkland has never been a problem,” he said.
At the type-in events, Guidry said kids have enjoyed trying out typewriters because they’re almost like an instant printer.
“Even the 20- or 30-somethings have never touched a typewriter,” he said.
“The whole tactile function of the old typewriters takes a little finger dexterity and strength,” Jarmick added.
Guidry, who works as a firefighter in Edmonds and has lived in Kirkland for more than 10 years, was inspired to start his collection of typewriters by his father.
“My dad would bring home his IBM Selectric,” Guidry said, adding that he had a revelation about starting his collection shortly before his father died.
His first typewriter in the collection was a 1940s Royal, and his collection has grown to include a variety of different machines, which he said are all functional. He said it’s hard for him to pick a favorite, as he has different reasons to like all of them, from the “incredible smell” to the feel.
“When you type on it, it feels good,” he said of one of his typewriters.
The type-in event is just one item on the calendar at BookTree next month.
In April’s edition of the Third Saturday Poetry Is Everything Workshop and Reading series, Robert Lashley (“Up South,” “The Homeboy Songs”) will be the featured guest. He will lead a free workshop, titled “Organic Approaches to Form,” at the store from 4:30-6 p.m. April 15, followed by a reading and open mic from 6:15-8 p.m.
At 7 p.m. April 18, BookTree co-owners Jarmick and Mary Harris will hold an “Evening of Book Recommendations.” The recommendations will be for both individual readers and book clubs.
“We will outline why we think these books should be read,” Jarmick said.