The Scent of an Old Book

Old book - Basking Ridge Historical Society (1)

Forced to slow way, WAY down by my recent illness, I have rediscovered the joy of curling up with a good book.  Although I can see the benefits of downloading electronic files to tablet style readers, for me the soft, crinkly whooshing noise as a page is turned is too romantic to give up yet.  Even more than the sound though, I cannot imagine enjoying reading without that wonderful musty scent of age, bookbinder’s glue, and ink.  Yes, I am one of those crazy people who like to sniff books.  If they invented a cologne for men that smelled like antiquarian books, and my husband put it on, he would have to take out a restraining order on me.  I lust.

I was also raised to RESPECT books.  Unless it was a cookbook, there was no writing within allowed, other than a quick “this book belongs to…”.  Likewise, you never dogeared, stood on, tossed, or otherwise maimed a book.  They were SACRED.   So imagine my horror when I discovered that books donated to libraries are often simply tossed in the recycling bin!  Turns out, there are so many books that no one really wants (think “The Joy of Algebra”, ed. 1975), that there is nothing else to be done with them.  Imagine all that delicious scent going to waste.  Unless…

image via Inhabitat

we used all those unwanted books to make things with!  Like this enterprising library, which used books recovered from a fire to build their new checkout desk.

How about a bookshelf made of a book?

Or maybe a bookshelf made from a whole BUNCH of books?

You could stack all your extra books on your book table

and then kick back in your book chair to read them by the…

gentle light of your book sconce.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go and stick my nose back in a book.

3 Responses to “The Scent of an Old Book”

  1. Nicole Longstreath Says:

    Excellent description of turning pages in an old book! Cool furniture too :)

  2. Kathy Stevens Says:

    I do believe I’ve found the future home for a 190 year old, leather bound English History. (There are a couple of others, but not that old.)

  3. theinteriorRevolution » Blog Archive » Trending – Book P*rn Says:

    [...] talking about a sensual love for books that borders on the obsessive.  That passion for the smell, texture, history, and intellectual contents of a stack of bound paper with a [...]

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