Translate to multiple languages

Subscribe to my Email updates
Enjoy what you've read, make sure you subscribe to my Email Updates

Sunday, January 03, 2021

Column: That comforting smell of old books | Opinion - Richmond News

The smell of a used bookstore can bring forth memories and associations a bit more than the internet can by Sabine Eiche, local writer and art historian with a PhD from Princeton University.

Old books look comforting, feel comforting and smell comforting.
Photo: Sabine Eiche

As 2020 progressed, the virus made us increasingly anxious about nearly everything. We had to stop doing much of what we used to do routinely. Businesses failed, except those able to function online. Our lives were now conducted through clicks, taps and punches on our devices.

Miraculously, in the midst of all this “onlinification,” and notwithstanding Amazon flexing its muscle, independent bookstores and used bookstores are surviving. Some are even thriving. They offer experiences that can’t be offered electronically. Will Amazon let me hold a book, feel the quality of the paper, check how easily the pages turn, examine the binding – before I decide to buy it? No. Will Amazon let me smell a book before I buy it? No...

Going into a used bookstore can be like entering a port in a storm, especially in these scary pandemic times. All those books hold not only delights for the intellect, but also smells that will stimulate memories and associations.

No wonder these smells have been bottled as perfume. Powell’s famous bookstore in Portland, Oregon has launched its first fragrance. Called Powell’s by Powell’s, it has notes of wood, violet and “biblichor” (smell of old books). Demeter Fragrance Library has one named Paperback, which promises the sensation of a trip to your favourite library or used bookstore.

Read more... 

Source: Richmond News