If not for his father, Tom Hanks never would've learned to type, a skill that sparked his lifelong obsession with typewriters and his first book, "Uncommon Type: Some Stories," available October 24.
"Typing was the one requirement my dad had for me, going to school," the 61-year-old actor tells the New York Times. "He said, 'goddamn it, you'll take a typewriting course!' I think that was the sum total of my dad's advice to a young man."
"Uncommon Type" features 17 short stories populated by characters like an Eastern European immigrant who brings his family to New York to escape civil war and a bowler whose string of perfect games makes him an ESPN sensation.
And, yes, typewriters play a key role in every story, just as they're part of Hanks' life. More than 300 vintage models are on display in the bookcases of his office in Santa Monica, California.
Hanks was initially determined to write each story on a different typewriter, but that plan didn't quite work out. "I only made it about five pages in," confesses Hanks, who succumbed to the convenience of a laptop computer.
Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic