Let me begin by saying that I am by no means a book snob. My shelves are heavily laden with the dog-eared, secondhand treasures found at used book stores, yard sales, attics, and so on. Public libraries are a truly wondrous marvel, connecting anyone with the desire to read with hundreds of thousands of books, at absolutely no cost!
Today I visited a Barnes & Noble, and realized I couldn’t remember the last time I’d been surrounded with so many brand new books. These books had never collected dust on the shelves of someone’s house, languished in a grandparents garage, or been forcibly shoved into a backpack. These were virgins. When I opened them, the bindings had a gentle resistance that would quickly disintegrate after their purchase. The pages were clean, bright, unspoiled by any hand and void of any scent but the paper and ink itself.
New books are a wonder not everyone appreciates in the same way, but to me they are a near sacred experience. If they were living things, I’d probably have a court order to stay outside of a 50-yard radius.