I learned to type on a typewriter like this one.
I know that marks me out as being a little over one hundred and twenty years old, but at least now you'll look kindly upon any photographs of myself I post here.
Actually, there is a lot to be said for bashing out typing exercises on this sort of machine.
It was, admittedly, extreme typing - never mind breaking a nail, strike one of these keys askance and you could snap a finger bone - but it was brilliant training. Once you've struggled with the weight, the cumbersome shape and size, the sheer stubborn resistance of a thing like this, a computer keyboard holds no fears for you. And anyone who mastered three copies of a letter using carbon paper and blobby white stuff or an ink rubber for corrections will still remember the thrill of the invisible mending we discovered on our first electronic typewriter.
I now type all my manuscripts directly onto my ipad, using a natty, slimline keyboard which it stands in. It is a joy to use, and no, I don't hanker after my old manual typewriter, unless as a relic to sit on a shelf for the occasional burst of nostalgic whimsy.
That said - and I speak as an avid reader of ebooks - don't you just love those gorgeous leather books?