Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Few More Things To Say About Books

1. The smell. I smell my books. They smell great. Two examples:

  1. This Father Brown book smells delightful. You know that decades-old mass-market paperback paper smell? Well you should. It's one part library, two parts older couple's house, and another part mismatched art supplies. It smells like the Fifties—not the fins and curves themselves, but pictures of them done on card stock with a dated color palette and propped up on a rickety old easel. It's the lampshades and carpet that decorated the church you grew up attending. I think you can find this smell in some of the less-frequented stacks of the Harold B. Lee Library, down in the subterranean floors near the faded photos of smart people with horn-rimmed glasses.
  2. On Sunday I was hanging out after church with the elders and this guy James from the local newspaper who is doing a piece on them, and I found myself once again smelling my scriptures. They're the mini size, smaller than the normal ones but bigger than the military ones, but they aren't a quad (that's right, be jealous, cuz they're discontinued). I got them in Korea when I was a missionary. Back then, for the first month or so I had them, I was constantly smelling them to soak up that leathery smell of the cover—like new shoes only without the thought of funk to come. Now, years later, the leather smelled has mellowed and mixed with the ultra-thin paper smell and the gilt-edge smell. Delightful. James got plenty of pictures of me sniffing it up.
How to smell a book: open the book to a good page in the middle somewhere, bring it up to your face so your nose is right in the crevice of the pages, close to the binding, and inhale. I like my nose to be near the top of the page so I can open my eyes mid-whiff and look suspiciously at any gawkers. Like opening your eyes to look around at whose looking at you kiss someone.

Hmmm, the words are backward but my part is on the right side
(unlike in that last picture).

Well, this is plenty long for now. More things about books tomorrow!


Janssen said...

I also love the smell of a new book. And, come to think of it, the feel of a new book - the pages are all crisp. mmmm.

That picture is the most awesome thing I've ever seen. You should make it your header.

Queen Bee said...

I'm also a book-sniffer. Growing up I used to say "Judge a book by it's smell, not it's cover." I particularly liked the art books and encyclopedias in my grandpa's old library. However, I DO NOT enjoy getting a recently returned book from the library that spent too much time around cigarette smoke. Ugh, it's the only time reading is repulsive.

Jennifer said...

I like the smell right when you whoosh into the library.