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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