Paula Bailey

January 4, 2012

Book sniffing

I love books. I love the way they look on the shelf or on the table. I love the way they feel in my hand. I love the way they smell. Yes, smell. I confess I am a book sniffer – and I know many of you are too!

New books have the smell of paper and ink, and sometimes glue. Even mass-produced paperbacks have a ‘new book’ smell when you first open them. More expensive books have a smell of their own, but I think my favourite book smell is still the mustiness of old books. Really old ones.

The sensual experience doesn’t end there. Books feel wonderful too. Again, popular novels fit well in the hands – whether we fold them back around the spine, or whether we carefully hold them open to keep them pristine. The beautiful smoothness of the pages of a classy coffee-table book means I find myself running my hands over the pages as I devour the images. Old books, in turn, are fragile and precious, their papers often thin and brittle while their covers may be made from robust materials such as leather, yet weakened at the stitches. Textures abound.

You may have guessed that old books are my favourites. I hope you will enjoy this collection of some stunning photos of some very beautiful old books. And do click through to the originals on Flickr and tell the photographers if you like their photos.

Thanks for visiting, and enjoy.

Libros viejos // Old books by Diego Neyra

'a room without books is like a body without a soul' by Kevin van der Leek

Libros by Antonio Luis Hernández

'hotel register from another era' by Nicholas Mitchell

'Very old book - from 1752' by soozika

'Very old book from 1752 Satyrische Briefe B' by soozika

Oldies... by M. Raj

'Pages of Yesteryear' by Karrie

'....e le favole spiegate colla storia' by Marta Ponari

'Old Book' by Geoff Powell

'Old books' by David Reneses

'Old Jewish Book' by (((The Space Between)))

'Well Read' by Lynn Armstrong

'hanging, waiting, unbound, unravelling' by Shawna Lemay

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  1. OMG! This is awesome! I’m right there with ya…the feel, smell, texture of the book and pages…I even have favorite print and font types. LOL! Very catchy as I’m a book lover myself. 🙂

    Comment by Ro — January 4, 2012 @ 8:46 pm | Reply

    • I love fonts too. I’ll be doing more posts on books this year. Thanks for visiting. 🙂

      Comment by Paula Bailey — January 4, 2012 @ 9:05 pm | Reply

  2. “a room without books is like a body without a soul’ by Kevin van der Leek. I like this sentence, beautiful photos, thank you for posting.

    Comment by robert che vola — January 4, 2012 @ 8:55 pm | Reply

    • If you click the photo you can tell Kevin van der Leek that you like it. Thanks for commenting. 🙂

      Comment by Paula Bailey — January 4, 2012 @ 9:06 pm | Reply

  3. thanks for asking and for the link. most appreciated! ~ Shawna

    Comment by Shawna — January 4, 2012 @ 11:00 pm | Reply

    • Thank you for letting me use your lovely photo, and thanks for the visit. 🙂

      Comment by Paula Bailey — January 4, 2012 @ 11:45 pm | Reply

  4. I love books more than anything aside from real humans. The smell of a book and the feel of its pages intoxicate me. Most people find it odd, I’m glad you enjoy them as much as I do. Thank you for sharing!

    Comment by michelle chaplin — January 5, 2012 @ 1:04 am | Reply

    • Yes, people think I am odd for smelling them, but it doesn’t stop me. Thanks for your comment 🙂

      Comment by Paula Bailey — January 5, 2012 @ 1:11 am | Reply

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