It all started in the big blue rocking chair. I would crawl into my dad's lap for stories every night before bed. When I was too young to understand what he was reading me, he would read to me from the Salt Lake Tribune. When I got a little bit older it was Doctor Seuss's ABC's. Next it was Goodnight, Goodnight, and then finally Ira Sleeps Over. I remember the warm feeling of being enveloped in my dad's arms, knowing that I was safe, that no monsters could reach me in the big blue chair, and the ever-present thought that if I was really good I might get a cookie. I remember the feel of the crinkling newspaper, and the smooth, cool feel of the book's flimsy covers. I remember the sound of the pages turning, and the feeling of my dad's chest rising and falling with every breath. I remember mouthing the words to my favorite stories along with my dad and saying the next line before he could start it. I remember the pictures and knowing somewhere deep down that those pictures were just for me. But most of all I remember that book smell.
You know the smell I'm talking about, that gloriously sweet must of well-read books. It is the smell of libraries everywhere, and to me it is the smell of love. There is nothing I love more than cracking open a favorite novel and inhaling that scent. To me it is the greatest high on earth. It is the smell of excitement, the smell of anticipation, the smell of romance or adventure or science fiction. It is the smell of worlds beyond our own that we will never even know of. It is the smell of knowledge, the smell of wisdom, the smell of everything imaginable. It is because of that smell that I continued to read. That book smell drew me into more books, more adventures, more thoughts and emotions than anything else.
I binge on books the way some people binge on chocolate. To me, books are food, water, air, and life. If I couldn't read, I would cease to exist as myself. I use books to fill the empty places inside myself. I use them to hide from my fears. I use them to put a rosy shine on the not so shiny parts of my life. I imagine that I am book characters. I think about how life would be different if I had magical powers, or were a fair princess, or were so clever I could talk my way out of any situation.
Don't get me wrong, I am in no way dissatisfied with my life. But books allow me to escape the mundane, monotonous, and otherwise mildness of my life. I am in the middle of a life-long love affair with books. I will always love them from the bottom of my heart.
That book smell is, to me, the smell of happiness.
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3 years ago