Like in most flower and motions movies, when the hero or actor was in some deep trouble when death seems imminent or loss of life or limb. They remember memories, sensations, smells, scents that mean so much to them or mean so much to the people that they care about the most. Just like an actor would smell 

the scent of his favourite meal made by the hands of his mother or catch a whiff of the fragrance of his wife’s perfume or his mistress or girl friend. This reawakened consciousness of what matters is different for most people. Some smell flowers- the scent of their favourite flower blossoming, some smell the freshness of grass, some even smell the musky scent of their sweats in their work boots or their sport boots. The smell doesn’t have to be pleasant.

I realized that for me, the scent was the smell of books. A lot of people would ration that it is just imagination and that books don’t smell but I found that isn’t always true. The older a book, the more peculiar and fascinating the smell emanating from its brown glossy pages. White paper has its smells too but I’m willing to bet that nothing smells much more pleasant and intriguing as the brown papers of the old fashioned paperback.

              Call me all shades of unusual for a young lady in what is deemed the jet age to get her high from just the smell of books when my youthful counterpart were sniffing all sort of substance. I didn’t just come to be my eccentric self as I would have bet all my money on it that I wasn’t born this way. There were events leading to this point in my life.

Okay! I would admit that I was one of those children who loved a good story from way to early, probably an off shoot of reading bed time stories to kids but I very much doubt this because the kind of upbringing that I had. I do not think that anyone rationed that I would need a bed time story to sleep or to find sweet dreams. Going back to the point, I have always liked a good story and would always hunt down every new story book that I could find in our sparse living quarters. It was on one such occasion when I had exhausted every children reading material that I could find in my house, that I began hunting and opened one of my dad tool shelf and pulled out this old looking copy of “Zambia Shall Be Free”. It was a big book and one not written to the kiddies audience that I would have favoured. That old book had a particular smell, that I carried it around for days long after I was done with it.

Soon people began to ask me questions like, “how come you are this sound”, “how come you think at this plane”, “how come you have quite a mastery of English Language”, “how come it doesn’t reflect in your speech and mannerisms that you went to a public school. 

I soon learned that I had unconsciously been refined by an habit that I unwittingly took up. Reading is indeed to the soul what food is to the body. 

The smell of food, weed, booze shouldn’t be the only fragrance your mind can relate with. From what do you get your high? Engage in habit that adds to you, disengage from habits that subtract you.

(c) Fumsymoon

All Rights Reserved 

Adeyemi Oluwafunmilayo Adebimpe


One Reply to “​THE SMELL OF BOOKS”

  1. You aren’t walking alone there, love. Me, myself, I have always been a sucker for books- the feel and the smell of them for as far as my memory goes. Growing up, I thought there was something wrong with me when the smell books never fail to hook me in. Grown up, I look forward to the day I might outgrow this pathology of getting high on the smell of books. You would think the smell of dirty Naira notes is the thing for a man of my standing or a woman of yours. Well, we have got to live this up, don’t we?


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