The Smell of Old Books

The musty smell of old books
Is sweet like vanilla and
A little sharp with age.
The scent of the dust on the pages of books and the
Paper from which the pages are made lifts itself into my nostrils and
Fills my head with stories and memories of stories I’ve read.
Those thicker, slightly stiff or softer, thinned pages that might disintegrate, which have existed for so many years.
Some passed down from parents or grandparents,
Some from childhood, lovingly read and re-read, the pages yellowed from being held
And turned over and over or
Crinkled from their journeys to the bottom of the bath.
That unmistakeable scent fills my nostrils and I’m in a library,
Looking for a new idea or researching or
Searching for the next big adventure,
The next world in which to lose myself.
Oops.
I never did return that one.
The smell of books looks like the hard back covers,
The royal blues, reds, greens faded.
The paperbacks pop open a little by themselves,
And the books lift automatically to the regularly bookmarked places within,
The familiar scent wafting out from those favoured lines
On the most read pages.
The musty smell of old books permeates our room and fills me with comfort.
And then curiosity.
And then confusion.
Where is that smell coming from?
We have no old books.
We have only two kindles now.

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