Don’t You Just Love the Smell of Old Books?


“I cannot live without books.” – Thomas Jefferson to John Adams, 1815


Does the musty smell of an antiquarian bookstore send your pulse racing? Do you think loftier thoughts in the cramped aisles of a library than in, let’s say, the local Starbuck’s? If so, you may identify with my distress when I was informed recently that my nephew had passed up an opportunity to own a lovely leather-bound edition of a favorite book, preferring instead to “just read it on my computer”.

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Now don’t get me wrong. I welcome the rise of e-books for their convenience and ease of use – when traveling, for instance. But am I being old fashioned when I say that there is nothing that can substitute for the intellectual and tactile satisfaction of holding a well-written and well-bound book? I sometimes wonder if we are heading into a future where those of my ilk will be looked upon in a similar fashion as those who insist that music sounds better on vinyl are today. If so, it is a strong argument in favor of the mortality of man. Because I, for one, would not want to live to see it.

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3 thoughts on “Don’t You Just Love the Smell of Old Books?

  1. Hello James and yes I do love the smell of old books. I have a home business that I buy and sell old comics and some old children’s literature. Do the names of Dick and Jane or little golden books sound familiar. Ask anyone under the age of thirty the same question for a guaranteed ‘deer in the headlight’ response.

    I love your post. It is very well written as is your blogs site. It is no surprise that you received the coveted Liebster award. I look forward to following your post and the release of your first book.

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