Many founders want a book deal. Not many get one the way Mike Gustafson of the Ann Arbor, Michi­gan, book­store Literati did. When the shop opened in March 2013, the co-founder set an old, light-blue Olivetti Let­tera 32 type­writer in the base­ment, amid the travel guides and cook­books, with a sin­gle blank page in it. Cus­tomers be­gan typ­ing, anony­mously, rev­el­ing in an odd pub­lic in­ti­macy. Some mes­sages were poignant (“She needs help. I re­ally want to help her. But I don’t know how”). Some were ab­surd (“My mom used to be a mime. I just found out. She never men­tioned it”). Some pro­posed mar­riage. It be­came A Thing. This spring, Grand Cen­tral Pub­lish­ing made it a hard­cover: Notes From a

Pub­lic Type­writer, which col­lects 123 notes from the thou­sands Literati cus­tomers have pecked out. Post­book type­writer com­mu­niques can be seen on In­sta­gram at @pub­lic­type­writr, an ac­count we like so much that we just made it our #IncSo­cialSpot­light. (Re­ally. That’s a thing, too.)

THIS YEAR’S MODEL A 1950s Smith Corona, await­ing the next Literati cus­tomer

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