I had to smile seeing Paul Musgrave's ode to the smell of old books, because for a while I thought my mother was the only one with that particular fetish. If we walked past a used bookstore on the street we would try to hurry her past before the invisible magnetic force started to draw her in, but we weren't always successful. Once inside she'd like to open a book and take a deep drag. She even tried to get me on the habit -- I have a distinct memory of her thrusting a book under my nose -- but with me it never took.
When she went to grad school she found an apartment near the public library, which always had old books for sale at like 50 cents apiece. This, of course, was like living next to a crack house, and her boyfriend eventually had to start building shelves to house the accumulated books. Although I should add, lest anyone get the wrong idea, that she also likes to read them.
I guess it's not just old books that can have an effect, though. I have a more recent memory of visiting the Fuller Seminary bookstore in Pasadena, and seeing Telford throw his arms out, twirl around and take a deep, contented breath. Whether he was enjoying the aroma or just trying to draw in the collective theological erudition around him I don't know, but it sure was making him happy.
(Via such small hands.)Posted by Camassia at October 21, 2004 08:53 PM | TrackBack