In the blogging world, I’ve seen many bloggers talk about their Kindles and their Nooks. I’ve entertained the idea of getting an e-reader someday. It seems practical. Lots of books stored in one convenient electronic device which you can tote anywhere you like — to work, to the gym, around the house or on vacation. Maybe I’ll get one sometime.
But I have a special place in me for real books. I was at my favorite lakeside bookstore last weekend and I happened to enter the store at the same time as two other people. One had been there before but the other hadn’t, and she remarked that she liked the smell of the books there. I happened to say that topic would make a great blog post (which is why I’m writing this now) and the three of us got into a wonderful conversation about books, blogging and other subjects.
Books have different scents, have you noticed? There is the fresh smell of new paper from a book that’s recently come from the publisher and the aged smell of books that you’ve owned for a while and read frequently. Some books get that mildewy smell if they’ve been mistreated by storage in too-damp conditions (Arrrgh! Call the Book Police!) or may even get their own smells if food’s been dropped on them (whoops).
You could even make the case that books are a feast for all five senses. The art with a book appeals to our eyes — I’ve often picked a book to read based on its cover art, inner illustrations (think Tasha Tudor of several children’s classics or Garth Williams, artist for the Laura Ingalls Wilder books) or luscious photos. I’ve also seen richly decorated books with gilded edges in the bookstore and yearned to possess them. Audiobooks read by famous actors appeal to our sense of hearing (the resonant British voice of Richard Armitage reading North and South…. Ahhhh…..) and some books are even specially designed to fit comfortably in the hand (according to the publisher of one book I own).
And somebody’s even found ways to create edible books. Yeah! If they have chocolate, I am SO there. Pass the whipped cream, will you?