Tuesday, December 14, 2004

That New Book Smell

Oh, dear friends, today two new books arrived here at work. And they smell so good. If you are any kind of liberal arts yahoo, nothing you do has much effect on the physical world, except for books. Liberal arts majors make books and when we do, they come out of the box and into my hands and... arlghlghl... they smell so good. My favorite private moment at work is when a new book comes in and I can open it up just a little and stick my nose in and smell the ink and the wood pulp and feel the cold paper against my cheeks. If I were an artist, I would be an old timey letterpress printer, and I'd spend a vast amount of time in the back huffing the ink. Let it rot my brain! Let me drool all over myself. Just also always let me have that moment when the smell of fresh ink hits my nose.

3 Comments:

Blogger the Professor said...

That's beautiful. But, I also love the smell of old books. It's completely different and not produced by things that make one high, but that old book smell evokes other great feelings.

12/14/2004 04:52:00 PM  
Blogger The Corporate Shill said...

I always thought I was alone in my love of the smell of books -- old and new. It was my favorite part of the first day of school -- scoring one of the new textbooks and cracking it open to inhale.

There's the textbook smell (somthing about the glossy pages, the smell of a new hardcover book (more pulp!) and the old book smell. I love them all. There's a little store in my town called BookZellers that has the best old book smell I've encountered in quite a while.

So, Aunt B., does your love of the new book smell extend to other books?

12/15/2004 08:01:00 AM  
Blogger Aunt B said...

Oh, god, yes. I love the smell of old books, too--that kind of musty smell of forgotten knowledge. And that crackle sound as the dry glue on the binding gives way a little as you turn the pages. It's great. It's one of the reasons I loved working at the library.

Also, I suspect, it's one of the reasons I love the Jack Daniel's tour, even though I don't often, if ever, drink whiskey. Practically the whole process of making Jack Daniel's whiskey is devoted to making grain alcohol smell and taste like trees, from the charcoal mellowing process (sugar maple) to the years spent in the white oak barrels.

12/15/2004 08:22:00 AM  

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