Books. I love books. I love the smell of them – that almost grassy paper smell. I read somewhere that scientists have discovered there really is an “old book smell,” composed of decomposing paper. That’s sort of gross, actually. But whatever it is, I like it.
I love the feel of paper books, particularly that lost animal, the “mass market paperback.” I like them because they fit in my hands and I can take them into the bathtub without my arms getting tired. I can’t do that with hardbacks. Also, if I drop a paperback in the water, I feel less bad than if I dunk a $30 hardback.
The look of my books makes me happy. I go into my dining-room-cum-library, and just gaze around with this feeling of, “I’m at home.”
I like the sound my books make – that still, dampened sound in the room, devoid of echoes, that silences some of the perpetual din that comes with living in the third largest city in the country.
I’d say I like the taste of books, just so I can make a fully-rounded five senses series, but to be honest, I’ve never eaten one. It’s not good for you to eat paper, after all.
What makes a writer? To me, it’s this love of books. I’ve heard it said that voracious readers are probably writers, even if they don’t realize it. I do believe humans are storytellers by birthright, that we come that way out of the womb. Have you ever observed very young children? They talk about everything, non-stop. Did you see that? What is that? I think that’s this thing over here, followed by a flight of fancy to rival the wildest tall tales. Society beats it out of us, this love of Story, and we’re sorted pretty early on into “the talented,” those with the right to tell the stories, and “the rest,” doomed to sit on the sidelines and read others’ words. But Story lives on, in our hearts, its fire undiminished and maybe even unglimpsed. But no matter how forgotten, we can fan that flame back into existence. It’s never too late to try.
Don’t believe me? Check out Margaret Freydberg, who passed on recently at 107 years of age, still writing poetry and stories.
As in, after age 90.
Think about that, Dear Reader, and ask yourself this question: what are you waiting for?
– E.E. Cummings
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