Friday, October 31, 2008

Quirk # 2: The Nose Knows

I've always found reading among the plethora of things I thoroughly enjoy. My mother used to catch me still awake under the blankets with a flashlight at 4:00 in the morning, my nose stuck in a book and by golly, IT WAS A SCHOOL NIGHT. When it came to books, I wasn't a casual reader, I was completely and hopelessly addicted. I'd plunge headfirst into a book & the only way to get me to come back up for air was to physically shake me. Yeah, my parents learned real quick that grounding me or sending me to my room wasn't punishment. They finally changed tactics and simply took away the book I was IN THE MIDDLE of reading. That's just cruel.

I don't devour books like I used to and mind you, not for lack of interest. I simply made a commitment to a full-time job, husband and a whole host of additional responsibilities, but I'll tell you what, that commitment weakens when a book steps into the picture. The love affair that ensues is hot, steamy, and completely absorbing.* Books become the other woman in a weird, twisted, backwards sort of way. Once an addict, always an addict I guess. So when I say that at some point I will have a beautiful library full of the books I've come to love, my husband is a little worried. It's like your unfaithful spouse asking for all his/her lovers to move in. That's just awkward.

Now I wouldn't place reading in the category of quirks, maybe of obsessions, but not quirks. That which I place in the category of quirks is the process by which I purchase the books that will one day reside in my beautiful library. So I suppose the above two paragraphs really don't mention Quirk #2 at all, but are simply background info to understanding Quirk #2 more fully. I don't have many requirements to read a book beyond being filled with words and the pages in numerical order, but to actually buy the book, well now, that's a different story (no pun intended). Often times, the same novel is published in a handful of different ways. Hardback, paperback, large, small, abridged, unabridged, various cover art . . . um . . ya get it. When in the market for a new book, I explore all my options. I consider the weight and sturdiness of the book, the texture of the paper and after much deliberation I employ the tried and true method of book selection. I smell it. Yes you read right, I SMELL IT. I open 'em up and take a whiff RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STORE. Needless to say my husband always makes himself scarce at these times. Do you think he's jealous? Maybe he just can't handle seeing me that way with another . . . . .um, novel. The whole sniffing thing seems strange I know, but I LOVE smelling books. I find myself smelling everything I read and have discovered that there are a lot of different scents that accompany their hosts and, to be honest, some are downright terrible. Others have a certain musk that lays hold on my nostrils and all I can think about is how much I want to get that book alone and dive between the sheets of paper. I have been known to buy random books based on scent alone. I told you I was quirky. So if you catch me in a Barnes & Noble with a book plastered to my face, you'll know why. Not only will my beautiful library be full of the books I love, but it's gonna smell AWESOME.
What can I say, I'm head-over-heels for having my nose stuck in a book (ok, ok pun totally intended).

*To clarify in case anybody misunderstood, no, I do not read literary pornography, unless you count The Twilight Series in that class, then I'm totally guilty. So when I talk about my love affair with books, it has nothing to with the content of them.


The Comeau Family said...

Hey, wasn't it you that was given a book (maybe it was a journal) and the pages were scented? I am thinking the pages smelt like coffee or dirt or something earthy like that. Maybe I am totally up in the night, who knows.

jenandbrody said...

I enjoy reading your blog because you are very good with words. In fact, Dorlene went on and on the other day about how you need to use that talent and be writing books or stories or something. DO IT! Make some money off of your talent! :o)

Brittany said...

Ashley that is so funny you remembered that! And you were spot on. Esther & her family went to Costa Rica and she brought back a journal for me. The paper was dyed with coffe beans so it looked uber cool, but it didn't smell like coffee, it smelled like dirt. Very good smelling dirt. So yeah, that journal fulfilled two fascinations of mine, really cool paper and smelling books. Thanks again to Esther for an awesome souviner which I still have by the way.
Wow, I'm still blown away with your memory Ashley!