smell of new books



A box of books – my new picture book – arrived on my doorstep Tuesday, so that’s the day I designate as the book’s birthday.

The intense rush of emotion when I opened the box of books is hard to describe. Pride? Relief? Joy? Yes, all of those. Especially Joy. First, I simply admired the neat stacks of books, waiting for my signature. Then I picked up the top copy of FLIP, FLOP, FLAPJACK! and clutched it to my chest. I was alone, so I did a little happy dance, I admit it! And then…I opened the book and inhaled. Ahh, the faint smell of ink and shiny new paper, mixed with (I let my imagination run here) the sweat and tears shed over this story.

This book is special to me, as my first picture book. But also, it tells the story of an important part of our family history. My grandfather, Jack Morton, lived a life that earned him many nicknames, but the one that has endured is Wildhorse Jack. And one of his claims to fame is being the instigator of the first pancake breakfast at the Calgary Stampede. 100 YEARS AGO! So, when I inhaled the scent of my new books, I fancied that I also inhaled the scent of approval from my ancestors – my mother Frankie and her siblings, my grandmother Carmen and especially my grandfather, Wildhorse Jack.

So go ahead and smell your books. That scent is called “bibliosmia”. Some detect a hint of vanilla or glue. What scents can you detect?