In Which, Emphatically And Forever, I Decline To Care How Books Smell

Essay at NPR

Am I the only person whose books don’t smell like anything?

My. Books. Do. Not. Smell. Like. Anything.

There are exceptions, yes. If they accidentally were in the back of my closet when it rained really hard and the back part of the closet got wet because sometimes basement apartments are like that, then yes, they might smell vaguely the same way sheets smell if you leave them damp in the washer for three days at the conclusion of the spin cycle. It’s not wisdom — it’s mildew. If you leave stuffed animals in the same box with books, they will develop some — not all, but some — of the same smells. The box my Operation game came in would smell not entirely dissimilar to my copy of Sounder.

Full essay here