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Books Smell

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Musty was part of the charm08012013-1613 Bible Rear

Computers rarely smell. Keyboards can get grimy, of course. And the screen on a tablet gets all sweaty if you read while running on a treadmill. Part of the charm of old used bookstores is the smell of the books.

Early on in life I worked as a printer running small presses as a way to pay for college. Fresh reams of paper and rollers and tins of ink and the oiled mechanical bits of the press all have an odor peculiar to the printing industry.

Same with book stores. Paul’s Book Store in Madison, Wisconsin (a haunt of mine in college) had a similar smell, adjusted up for dust and volumes of old paper. Midway Books in Saint Paul is always worth stopping by—and not just for the smell of the books. All sorts of treasures reside there.

Loome Theological Booksellers moved from their old, cold church building in downtown Stillwater to a (considerably expanded) barn out in the country. I’ve not visited since their move. The bookish folks at Loome are offering a 1613 King James Bible for sale (only $3900) with a well-known printing error (the “He” version).

I’m not in the market for such a book, but I may go just for the smell it.

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Written by kirkistan

August 1, 2013 at 9:40 am

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