Tom Hanks hails bookshop owner as a hero for keeping typewriters alive


Tom Hanks with his typewriter collection

Tom Hanks is a renowned typewriter collector and enthusiast (Picture: Rex)

Tom Hanks has hailed a Scottish bookshop owner as his ‘hero’ for keeping the love of typewriters alive.

Tom Hodges, a typewriter fanatic, owns the Typewronger Books shop in Edinburgh.

This summer, Hodges wrote to global star Hanks, a fellow ‘typewriter geek’, as the National Museum of Scotland was showing a typewriting exhibition, and invited the actor to visit his shop.

Writing on his grandfather’s Remington Noiseless typewriter, Hodges told the Forrest Gump star all about his life, from running away to live a Bohemian life in a Paris Shakespeare and Company bookshop as a ‘Tumbleweed’, to teaching fellow Tumbleweeds how to fix and write on ‘decrepit’ old typewriters held inside the shop, and how he eventually opened his own book shop back in Edinburgh.

Months passed with no response to Hodges’ letter, but the 35-year-old was floored this week when he received a typewritten message back from his hero.

He told BBC Scotland that at first, ‘I had no idea it was from him’.


Tom Hanks calls Edinburgh bookshop owner a hero for keeping typewriters alive Credit Instagram @typewronger

Tom Hodges at his Typewronger Book shop in Edinburgh (Picture: Instagram @typewronger)

‘Then inside it said “Tom Hodges, you are my hero”, and I flipped to the bottom and there was Tom Hanks’ name!’

Hanks had written to the Edinburgh man from a Smith-Corona Sterling typewriter (what else?) with headed paper from the upcoming Elvis biopic directed by Baz Luhrmann, which Hanks stars in as Colonel Tom Parker.

Tom Hanks calls Edinburgh bookshop owner a hero for keeping typewriters alive Credit Instagram @typewronger

‘Tom Hodges, you are my hero’: Tom’s typewritten letter from fellow enthusiast Hanks (Picture: Instagram @typewronger)

Writing from the set of the upcoming film, Hanks began: ‘Tom Hodges, you are my Hero…’

The award-winning actor said Hodge’s life story ‘sounds like something out of Hemingway’.

‘And now, you battle the giants to sell the best of books – and keep typewriters alive.

‘Did I tell you that you are my hero?’

The megastar even x’d out the mistakes in his letter, rather than using Tippex, as every typewriting fanatic knows the liquid can mess with the mechanics of the machine.

Tom Hanks signed Smith Corona typewriter

A Smith-Corona typewriter signed by Hanks; the actor wrote to Tom on the same model (Picture: Getty Images)

Hodges was overjoyed to receive the letter, but not because of status as an iconic Hollywood actor: ‘For me it’s all about his love of typewriters’.

Saying that he hopes Hanks get to see the typewriter exhibit when he visits, Tom admitted it would be ‘lovely to meet him, he seems like a really wonderful man’.

‘I would want to talk to him about typewriters an awful lot!’

Tom Hanks calls Edinburgh bookshop owner a hero for keeping typewriters alive Credit Instagram @typewronger

Hanks could be visiting the Edinburgh book shop very soon (Picture: Instagram @typewronger)

While Hanks didn’t make it to Scotland for the typewriting exhibition yet, he hinted to Tom that the next time he is in Edinburgh he will ‘seek out the lot of you’, meaning Typewronger Books could have a famous visitor very soon.

As well as finding the time to write to fans and name them as his hero, Hanks is keeping as busy as ever in the acting world.

Along with upcoming biopic Elvis, the Hollywood giant has also recently been announced as the starring role in a dystopian film about a man and his dog trying to survive the apocalypse.

The film, titled Finch, will be released on Apple TV+ on 5 November, and is likely to be devastating – as any film involving a dog tends to be.

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