I have to admit it, I’m a book sniffer! There, I’ve said it! It’s something I’ve been compelled to do as far back as I can remember. I don’t know why, it just happened, and continues to do so to this day. On any Saturday afternoon, I can’t get past my local Waterstones bookshop without being forced to get amongst the hundreds of new titles all waiting to be lifted off the shelf and sniffed.
I’ve got it down to a fine art in my branch of Waterstones. After all, you couldn’t just walk in off the street and start ‘sniffing’ every book they have in stock, well you could, but I think you’d soon be out on your ear. I go upstairs, and to the far end of the shop they have a little corner of books tucked out of the way. It’s the ‘Social History’ section, so it’s usually pretty quiet. Once there, I can check to see no one is looking and then tuck in! Pages and pages, some glossy, some matt and even some with a velvety sheen to them.
Oooooh, heaven scent, er sent! An aroma of Vanilla followed by a petroleum smell like that you get from a freshly printed glossy magazine. Every now and then someone will turn up in my little corner of self indulgent sniffdom and I have to stop. I wonder if they’re a ‘sniffer’ too. Perhaps everyone in the shop is a secret sniffer, all trying to find a place where they can sniff happily in solitude. Who knows?
Not every book has a pleasant smell. I bought a second hand book off ebay a few years ago. I can’t remember the title but it was about football in the 1950’s, so it was quite an old book. As soon as the Postman had delivered it, I tore away at the packing, freed the book, opened it roughly in the middle and dived straight in for a full blown whiff! Eurgggghhhhhhhhhh! It was vile! I think it had been stored for years in one of those outside toilets. I couldn’t even read it the smell was so pungent. In the end I wrapped it up and gave it to my cousin for a birthday present.
I’d love to know if you’re a sniffer.