Friday, November 9, 2012


Write on edge prompt: You have 300 words this week to write about something new: a new character, the beginning of a new story, a new pair of shoes. Your piece can be fiction or creative non-fiction.  I am going with the non-fiction today.

When I was in my twenties and I had a moment or two, I would head for the nearest bookstore.  I would slowly wander the aisles, deeply inhaling that musty, woodsy smell that is distinctly literary.  My friends would find me running my fingers along the bookshelves, learning each book's unique form like a blind girl learning braille. If a particular title grabbed my attention, I would simply pull it off the shelf and cradle it in my arms.  In no time I would have a handful of selected books,  and I could hold no more.

If I were lucky, I would find a small alcove, a hallowed space with a chair or a stool.  I would sit and place the books I had gleaned from my walk in a stack next to me,  and my little area was transformed into the sands of a beach, each book a different shell gathered for exploration. 

I would hold each hardcover book in my hands, running my hands lovingly over the cover.  I would measure the heft and judge the weight of the treasure in my hand.  When I was satisfied that I had a substantial enough tome, my hands would carefully open the book, relishing the stiff snap of the binding.  Holding the book close, I would smell the pages, sighing happily at the ones which bore that faint vanilla smell of home.  Leaving the store with my books hoarded carefully in a bag or two, I always felt quite bold.

All the bookstores around our house have closed.  These days, I reverently open my boxes from Amazon, and pull each book from the box like the sword from the stone, searching for that same treasure hunting experience. 

But it is just not the same. 


  1. Kindle isn't the same either. I still like the smell and feeling of old books.

  2. Oh, be still my heart. Yes! We are kindred spirits.

  3. So sad, but so true. I love the hunt for books, especially used books. The scents! the smells the adventures! I had to give up hunting long ago in favor of the library - my book habits were so expensive :)... but i miss it/

    -barbara @ de rebus

  4. Oo, I could smell it! And feel it! Great description. I must say, I only haunt libraries (book shops are too expensive for me) and second-hand sales, but there's nothing like getting drunk on books.

  5. I did read a couple of books online but it is just not the same. The feel of holding a paperback, putting in the bookmarks - nothing equals that.

  6. I love this. I love books and that vanilla smell of paper and age you described so well.

  7. Oh, yes! Oh, yes, yes! You've captured the power of a book. I'm like Cait, but I feel the same every time I go to the library--or the bookstore--books calling, and calling. So many to read, so little time.


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