Friday, July 16, 2010

"...a very special kind of pollination"











"To this day, when reading, I have a habit of periodically holding the book at a length to look at it, and then bringing it, open, to my face, to breathe the fragrance, old or new--and each has its specific satisfactions--that is always there and rises from each of them like something offered by a flower to the air, a very special kind of pollination. I have bought books without the slightest idea what is in them (yes, I said 'is' in that sentence, for books are always in a beautiful present tense); I bought them merely and only because I liked the way they looked and smelled. I have finished reading books that were not very well written because I liked the print, and the feel of them, and the fragrance (a ponderous biography of Einstein comes to mind). Indeed, some part of me is always slightly aloof when reading, standing back to enjoy the physical act of it, for itself, the textures and the sounds the paper makes, and the weight of the volume, the heft and solidness of it in my grasp. For me, nothing can ever replace that. And I treat all my books, paperbacks and otherwise, as valuable artifacts."

Richard Bausch, from a short essay, "Valuable Artifacts," which you can read here.



The New Novel, Winslow Homer, 1877

5 comments:

Lucy said...

Most beauteous!

Alyssa said...

Oh, oh, oh!

Thank you!

(And take that, Kindle.)

P.S. Maybe I'll send a link to this post to Christopher Brosius, who knows all about this kind of lust, don't you think?

Alyssa said...

OK, I did it. I'll let you know if I hear back.

BitterGrace said...

Has CB done scents specifically for new and old books? I love that Bausch appreciates the difference...

Alyssa said...

I think "In the Library" is all about old books (which, as Turin notes, is also about the vanillin in decomposing wood pulp), but maybe this will give him ideas! I sent my email to the part of the site that was for "general info and perfume suggestions"--you never know!