The Smell Of Old Books







My book shelf is my favorite thing in my room. I love my bed as well, but it comes as a close second to my book shelf.

It’s nothing fancy; just an old wooden rack with glass doors. It was the first piece of furniture my dad bought for his office so we have an emotional attachment of sorts with it.

I’m not a collector of books or a very avid reader. I love reading but it’s not like I’m well versed with Shakespeare or Charles Dickens. And the books in this rack are what I collected over the years. It has a few Enid Blyton’s, some Nancy Drew’s, Hardy Boy’s, Jeffery Archer, Danielle Steel, Sandra Brown, and some classics like the entire Jane Austen collection, ‘Little Woman’ and Wuthering Heights and some Indian authors.

I know they are not much, but I kinda feel like they are priced possession. In this entire world, these books have been a constant part of my life. I read and re read them countless times and I still reach for Pride and Prejudice when I’m feeling lonely, or “A matter of Honor” by Jeffery Archer whenever I feel my life is getting a little too boring.

I might know most of these books by heart now, but I still reach for them simply because I love the way these books smell. Some of these were bought from a second hand market and are so old that their pages are yellow and brittle. And this makes me love them even more. I have to be careful with them and I love the “old book” musty smell they have.

I do have some e-books in my I-pad but every time I read an e-book, I feel as if something is missing. Not that e-books are in any way bad. But I always feel like I’m just staring at a piece of back-lit plastic.

A few of these second hand books I bought had handwritten notes in them. Some were birthday gifts and had wishes written on the backside of the cover. Every time I open them, I feel like being part of a history. Somebody somewhere had read these books with the same fascination that I show while reading them. I can’t say the same thing about my e-books. :-/

I-pads and Kindle are a fantastic piece of plastic, but at the end of the day that’s exactly what they will ever be. A piece of plastic. It would never be a part of a history or legacy.

And never would I get the smell of old books from it.

I love e-books, but I don’t think they can ever create the magic that a book can.


5 thoughts on “The Smell Of Old Books

  1. Pingback: Week in review, week ending 12/28/14 | Random thoughts of 210Darryl

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