Scent of a Book

I have moved a few times in my lifetime. The usual reasons (school, work, etc.) are to blame for these movements and with each shift I, like most people, have gone through various kitchen items, clothing, furniture, and so on. They have been donated, thrown away, giving away, and essentially been disposed of in various methods. The one, or more accurately in this case many, thing that I never rid myself of were my books.

Nothing in my library is worth virtually anything. There is not a single vintage leather bound book or First Edition or special copy among them. Most, if not all, are well worn and read paperback copies of books of fiction and nonfiction on random subjects or stories that piqued my interest at some point enough to purchase and read. So, why do I keep them? Well, simple answer is that they are important to me.

Each book I have managed to hold on to is a memory. The weight of the tome, the feelings of the pages, the smell that books get when they age: all those elements act in unison whenever I pick up an old book of mine to transport me back to the first or second or last time I read that particular text. I recall the story first but right after glimpses of where, when, and who I was when I chose and read that book come crashing back. Each book acts as a milestone in my memory of my life. They remind me of my past and, in a way, guide my future.

I suppose that is also why I, and always have, prefer physical books instead of digital ones. The tactile elements of an aged book cannot be replicated with text on a Kindle. Simply put, a Kindle has no smell, so it loses some of the magic and effect of a physical book. And sometimes you need the experience of reading a book more than the story the tome has to offer.

One thought on “Scent of a Book

  1. I love this. I agree so much.

    I love my kindle, but it can never replicate a physical book. There’s the smell, but there’s more. I love to annotate the margins with a different colour with each reading. I’ll reread a book in 2020 and annotate my thoughts in green, while interacting with my pink thoughts from 2016. That layer of reading is lost, on kindle.

    (I can leave highlights and notes on kindle, but it’s not the same. I can’t colour code & it takes much longer, disrupting the flow)


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