Old books smell of dust and the literary smoke of history, of writer-soul and the ink of eternity. ~Terri Guillemets
The smell hits you as you walk through the doorway, musty, old… the smell of history. My favorite smell. There are floor to ceiling bookshelves on every wall, books lining every square inch of the shelves with more books piled up on the floor, teetering precariously as high as they can reach. This is my favorite place. A small, locally owned bookstore owned by a kooky old man in the heart of downtown. Oftentimes, places like this can be overwhelming but the disorganization brings me some kind of weird joy. There could be anything hiding in the musty old stacks, I just need to find it.
I choose mostly based on appearance. I know that you should never judge a book on its cover but some covers are just so interesting you can’t help but pick them up! Fantasy is my all time favorite genre, dragons, swords and magic… it can transport you to a whole other level. I look for the books with the most interesting cover. Does it make me want to open it up and see what the cover is depicting? Is it intriguing? Does it have something on the front that I haven’t seen before? It does. I put it in the pile.
It’s not all about the cover though… Is it old? Are it’s edges slightly torn and bent? All books have a story… That’s why we love them! I once bought 3 giant bags of books at a garage sale, my then boyfriend held the books as I piled them higher and higher in his arms, pulling them off this gentleman’s dusty wooden shelves in stacks. Did he buy them as a child and bring them across the world? Maybe he used to love to read and then had kids, becoming too busy for his favorite hobby… Maybe he inherited them. Who knows. The story the books could tell is almost as exciting as the story between the pages. My favorite books are fantasies from the 80’s… Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series is one of my top favorites, however that is for another time. If I start talking about that I will never stop. I bought my first full set of that entire series from that man’s garage.
To find the perfect book, you need to look in all places, thrift stores, garage sales Value Village especially. Even box box commercial stores. Some of the best books you can find, the really old really hard to find ones are in the old musty bookstores, in estate sales and garage sales. You never know when you will find your next perfect read.