It's true. George Robert Gissing got it right. Books have smells and they stick with you.
I have been reading a lot this trip to Maine. The smell of the book I am reading transports me to another place and time almost as much as the story itself does.
I am reading an older printing of The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway. I have actually caught myself more than once sticking my nose in the book and taking a big whiff. It has a kind of musty smell. A good musty.
I found the book here at the camp we are renting on Sheepscot Lake. I think there is something about an old book that lives near the water.
The smell of the book and the sound of the wind through the trees and the birds on the lake really does take me back to the summers when I was in college and grad school.
During the summers we lived in a small camp on Lower Narrows Pond in Winthrop, Maine. I did a lot of reading back then. My favorite books were often Modern Library Classics that I had found at lawn sales on the weekends (I collect them).
I would stick my nose, literally, in those books too.