Join me Tuesdays as I ask a Fun Question that’s been on my mind. I’ll give you my take, but I really hope you’ll jump in with your answers too, since I’m really curious to know what my fellow readers and bloggers think! So today’s question is…
Why do YOU book sniff?
You notice I didn’t ask IF you book sniff. I know some of you probably don’t, but I’m taking the number of mentions of paper and books from a recent Harry Potter Moment of the Week to confirm that many MANY of you do. I sure as hell do. But why? Why do we like that smell so much?
For me it’s not just books, it’s paper in general. I think it’s because I’m both a reader and a writer. So taking a whiff of fresh paper is closely linked in my mind to that storm before the calm. The moment before the ideas flood and I start scribbling away. It’s also why I always write on paper before transferring to a word processor. The ideas just come better on paper and I wouldn’t be surprised if the smell signals something in me that says “Now’s time! Unlock the flood gates! Write!”
There’s a different smell in a finished book though, and I love that as much. Am I the only one who goes into their bookshelf periodically, picks up a favorite book, admires the cover, and then opens it up and takes a deep whiff? Am I outting myself as a weirdo? Not only do I do this, but I SWEAR, the smell brings me back to the book. It probably doesn’t hurt that when I open it, it opens up to an oft read passage and that page probably has a unique well-read odor.
I also book sniff at book stores, and I’ve been laughed at (good naturedly, by my brother) for doing so. Apparently this is a weird thing to do. But I love to hold fresh, untouched books and smell that off-the-press smell full of possibilities. And yes, I really only do this with books I’m DYING to read. How smart would it be of publishers to start giving books a scent? Like here’s your romance with a scent of rose? IDK honestly, it might ruin the paper smell. Or it might be cool and make others finally GET IT.
Why do you think smelling a book means so much? I think it’s because our sense of smell is SO linked to emotion. Check this out:
Makes sense right? It also makes me start to think about all the reading I do on my e-Reader and audiobooks. Am I destroying part of my reading experience? Or am I introducing a smell that’s different from paper, but equally emotive? I know that when my short story was published and I saw it on the eReader that was cool. But when I got the paper back (almost two months later) I almost cried. It was so different. It was more emotional. And I totally sniffed it. Maybe the emotion was the smell?
So time to ante up! Do YOU book sniff? Why do YOU book sniff? Or, why not?