Just a quick post of me fangirling over my first true love… old books
Is there nothing better than the smell of an old book? Go ahead, take a good sniff of your screen. You know you want to.
I have a habit -- good one if you ask me, not so much if you ask those around me when I do it. I have to smell books. The older the better. A dusty old hardcover like the ones in these pictures… mana from Heaven.
I think there’s something magical about the smell and feel of an old book. It can transport the reader into a world of its making, a lot faster than its modern counterparts. When you pick up one of these beautiful works of art, you’re already primed for an adventure.
I spent my entire childhood with my nose in an old dusty book. Every spare second, I was reading. Even before I knew I was reading, when I thought I was just memorizing… I loved it!
I’ve gone to space, fought dragons, survived the potato famine in Ireland, and fell in lust with a Scottish Laird. All without leaving my comfy chair.
My prized possession as a child was a box of 1970s Reader’s Digest Collected Stories. There were ten of them in the box, very small print, multiple stories per book. I read and reread every single one of them and loved every second of it.
I know it’s these early formative memories of fun, intrigue, and escape that made me love writing. I didn’t read my favorite books with a critical eye as a child. I do my best to not have one now. I want to be taken on the adventure the author intended. Suspending disbelief is probably my favorite thing about reading.
Yet, even as a child, I remember reading my favorite books and imagining a different ending. My ‘what if’ game was strong. I guess you could say I was writing fan fiction before those words were shoved together. And when I first started, I was doing it all in my head.
I don’t remember the first thing I ever wrote. My mom does, and I know the story of it… but from her retelling not my original. From that first story I know, I already had a thing for turning conventions on their heads. No Knight saving a Princess. No Happily Ever After… at least not every single time.
I will be one of those people who gets crushed by her TBR pile. I know it. I’ve accepted it. And it’s one heck of a way to go.
I’ve already started my old book collection. Naturally, I collect all books, but the old ones you find at a flea market or garage sale -- the ones they’ll pay you to take away -- are my favorites.
Right now, I’m staring at a hundred year old faded-green hardcover elementary school grammar book. It’s tucked safely in a Ziplock bag because some of the pages are torn and pulling away from the spine. I don’t want anything worse to happen to it. But I love looking at it. And yes, I open the bag often to take a good whiff.
Also in my collection is a new trend that I’ve started recently. Some of my favorite books are being printed in vintage harbacking. The first one I got -- from my wonderful husband -- was a signed copy of “Angela’s Ashes” by Frank McCourt. I love it so much and it holds a prominent place on my bookshelf.
And now, I’m beginning my signed “Outlander” series, which will hold court right next to “Angela’s Ashes.” So far I only have the first two, but I plan on collecting all ten when they’re available.
Then, my library will look like this one and my life will be complete.