“It isn’t about reading the words [with books]; it’s about reading the smell, which wafts from the pages in a cloud of dust and wood pulp. It might smell expensive and well bound, or it might smell of tissue-thin paper and blurred two-color prints, or of fifty years unread in the home of a tobacco-smoking old man. Books can smell of cheap thrills or painstaking scholarship, of literary weight or unsolved mysteries.”

The Ten Thousand Doors of January, by Alix E. Harrow

29 thoughts on “

  1. Michael B. Fishman July 6, 2021 / 9:27 am

    My great aunt used to get library books by mail and then she’d spend hours reading in the bathtub. One time she dropped a book in the water so they can smell like bath soap sometimes too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. johnlmalone July 6, 2021 / 2:54 pm

    so true, Chel: there is nothing like the smell of a book — reading on a laptop isn’t quite the same; books –the physical objects — will never go out of fashion —

    Liked by 1 person

      • johnlmalone July 6, 2021 / 9:48 pm

        like vinyl records which have made a comeback books will survive the Digital Age 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. obbverse July 6, 2021 / 2:55 pm

    Sweet words won’t resonate if you ain’t open to them though. So read that book, don’t just sit and look at it.
    Just in passing, I like to buy ex-library books online- the records, stamps, location of the library, the town, city where the book had been shelved and loaned- I ‘check it out ‘ so to speak on Wiki, and that gives an outlook on places I have never been to. A kind of random tour of faraway places, be they beautiful or banal.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens July 6, 2021 / 9:14 pm

      ❤ I love it. I’ll admit to loving when my used books have a card or list hidden in them. What was the previous owner like?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. CarolCooks2 July 6, 2021 / 7:37 pm

    I love the smell of a book…a kindle is fine but you don’t have to recharge a book 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. petespringerauthor July 6, 2021 / 10:03 pm

    I love the satisfaction of turning the pages of a new book and creasing pages that have never been creased before.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Nope, Not Pam July 7, 2021 / 3:44 am

    The pages of a book might hold a tale, but the book itself could have lived it

    Liked by 1 person

  7. gregoryjoel July 7, 2021 / 7:29 am

    I’m a minimalist compared to my wife. She’s not a hoarder, but she keeps everything. I have a policy of “if it hasn’t been worn or used in the last year it goes to the donation bin”. That applies to everything except books, vinyl records, cassette tapes, cds… you get the picture. Books and vinyl hold special memories and sensations – tactile, sensory, and emotional. Love the quote!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens July 7, 2021 / 11:40 pm

      Music and its various ways of playing it are also reminiscent of smells and memories. You’re right!


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