“Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book.”
“To be without books,” exclaimed Ruskin, “is the abyss of penury; don’t endure it.” Books that we own after awhile become actual companions. “He that loveth a book,” says Isaac Barrow, “will never want a faithful friend, a wholesome counsellor, a cheerful companion or effectual comforter. By study, by reading, by thinking, one may innocently divert and pleasantly entertain himself as in a weathers, so in all fortune.”
Let the toast be what Alfonso, King of Aragon was wont to say were the four best things of life: “Old wood burn! Old wine to drink! Old friends to converse with! Old books to read!” Sic itur ad astra.
Old Book Smell…“Lignin, the stuff that prevents all trees from adopting the weeping habit, is a polymer made up of units that are closely related to vanillin. When made into paper and stored for years, it breaks down and smells good. Which is how divine providence has arranged for secondhand bookstores to smell like good quality vanilla absolute, subliminally stoking a hunger for knowledge in all of us.”
—From Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez’s Perfumes: The Guide