So I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this here before or not, but I am a BookSmeller. The first thing I do when I pick up a book or a magazineÂ is to lift it up, flip through it, and see how it smells. It’s such a conditioned responseÂ that I didn’t realizeÂ I did it until my husband pointed it out to me a few years ago.
My other major book-related habit is that I like to mark them up. There’s just something about underlining, drawing arrows to link different passages, and writing notes and “aha!” moments in the margins that makes the text come alive for me.
I tell my husband I do it because it was ingrained in me from all my years of studying literature, but it’s a habit that horrifies him. He reacts to it the same way I react when someone takes a brand new book and murders it by immediately opening to the middle and cracking the spine.
So the other night we were both in his office, he on the computer, and I happily writing away in my latest read. Without looking at me he said, “I can hear you scratching away over there. And don’t tell me it’s because you were trained to do it.”
Then, turning to face me, and in the voice of someone leveling a solemn curse he declared, “The next time you smell a book, I HOPE YOU SMELL TEARS.”