A few weeks ago in my human relations class we were separated into groups in order to practice. . .well, relating with other human beings. In one of our exercises, on of my classmates was given a word that he had to describe while we guessed. After awhile he said that some people like to smell them. After we completely ruled out babies, I figured out that he was referring to books. I was correct, but another one of my classmates was completely confused by this.
He mostly wanted to know who in this wide wide world sniffed books.
This got a few of my classmates talking. One went on in particular about how her boyfriend liked the smell of new books–fresh off the press. Then I started thinking about how some people like smelling old books from libraries.
This got me to thinking, though.
Many people say that they like smelling books, but there are many different types of book scents.
Fresh off the press.
I love smelling new books. Much like new cars, they just have this NEW smell to them.
The smell of slightly aged paper mixed with the scent of a hundred different houses and hands is relatively interesting, I think.
The smell of one particular person and house mixed with slightly aged paper. Often results in a somewhat unique smell.
The books that smell like nothing. . .
. . .are such disappointments.
Excluding the books that smell like nothing, each of the books within each of these categories have different scents and I can’t figure out why. Is it the type of paper? Is it a smell unique to the publisher? I don’t even know how to describe the smells in order to explain what I mean.
So when we say that we like to smell books, what do we mean? I like all of the different scents I’ve found so far, but when we talk about that “book” smell, I don’t know what smell we’re referring to.