I remember as a kid I couldn’t wait for the book fair to arrive at school. Back then, in the 80’s they were small, but to a kid (well me at least) it was huge.
One year they had a mobile unit, almost like a double wide trailer, and it was filled with rows of books. I could get lost for hours in there if they had let me. But you were ushered in, had a limited time to make your selection, then be on your way back to school.
I’ve been thinking lately, how the demise of bookstores is happening so frequently over the years. Even the big box stores filled to the rafters with books, media, and the like, are in limited supply. It’s a dying breed, almost reminiscent of an extinct prehistoric animal. It’s sad. For me anyway.
Ohhh and boy do I miss old bookstores. Ones with second-hand books, limited editions, rare finds. There is something about the smell of a book, that you just can’t duplicate in an e-reader.
Although I was able to find these little gems while searching for the word to describe the smell of old books. Couldn’t find a definition but found these, plus one of those hanging tree air fresheners you would put in your car.
Inventive, but nothing close to that smell.
And there are distinct smells to an old book, and a new book.
I know some people describe an old book, like those air fresheners above, Musty! So far removed from musty. Musty is a dank and repugnant smell, reminiscent of moth balls, your nose wrinkles up at the thought and smell of musty. An old book, is something that can transport you to your most favorite memory. You close your eyes, inhale the deepest breath you can take, and hold it as long as you can. You savor it, as you would a fine wine or fragrant flower. That’s the smell of old books.
Like the pheromones your lover gives off, the scent you can get lost in. Ok maybe a little too far-fetched for a description for some people, but I want to try to explain it best I can.
I miss the days when you could go to a bookstore, and find yourself flipping through the pages becoming part of the stories. Yes, you can still do that with books of any kind, but something about flipping the page, feeling it on your fingertips.
I want to go on an adventure! I want to find a rare, quaint, vintage bookstore, and meander through the rows. Explore the shelves, run my fingers over the book bindings, flip countless pages, and breathe in that intoxicatingly wondrous smell… all while nestled in a comfy chair.
Ahhh a girl can dream, can’t she? Oh and the joy it would bring to just sit there with a good book, maybe a hot cup of tea along the journey.
See that right there, that’s where I want to be!
Find me a seat like that in a cozy little nook in the corner, and I’ll be in heaven. Find me a man who would want the same things, and well that’s a bonus to the 10th degree. Even if he doesn’t want to join me, but can understand my need, and want for that escape, and it’s just as much a bonus. Because he understands.
Books, and bookstores, are such a joy. I want to feel like that kid again, waiting for the book fair to arrive.
I think it’s time for a little vintage bookstore wanderlust…