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The Geeky Gaff: Judging a Book by its Cover…Feel & a Lot More!

bookphilia love for new books
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
Discussion about the smell of old books, the aroma within a library or the sniff of freshly printed documents is rather common. However, there is another thing that I have noticed, more of realized lately, in how I used to approach books. For starters, am not your bookophile. I don’t know the latest titles, the last round of well-recognized bestsellers and authors whom people talk about with the pride of a successful marine explorer. However, there have been phases when I was deep into books, collecting them, trying to read them all. During this period, I developed a weird connection with books that felt good when I gripped them. Essentially, this was the cover – back and forth. For some reason, every book feels rather different. Some have these glossy covers that create a very superficial feeling. The ones that feel better usually have a slightly textured, less laminated exterior. I could spend hours feeling these books, and even paid attention to the type of stitching or binding done. There is a huge difference between state-published and privately printed textbooks.

Why some people love the feel of new books?

The book binding process can be very laborious and rewarding – something seen in books of vintage where each page can pan-out properly. Regular binding often leads to unwanted page mass accumulation. There is something about the type of paper used that is truly tactile. You either feel paper that is too thin and will tear-away if you flick too hard or something that will last for a long time. There is also some degree of compression here – newly printed books might have not been bound well and could have a slightly puffy appearance. I would always pick-up books that were well packed, with a more compact form. Often, I would buy reference books because of the way they felt. In fact, I gathered too many to achieve any realistic reference information.

Beyond the Cover: more aspects that make a book feel Right or Wrong!

loving books because smell nice
Some books offered me a consolation of sorts with their more relaxed layout. This is another thing that is hard to explain. Have you ever judged a book based on the printing approach? If the text was tightly packed with diagrams and the words fighting for their space, the book could be overwhelming for me. When I looked at shorter paragraphs, more sub-heading and the same chapter spread across multiple, smaller sections, life seemed more manageable. No matter how hard things got academically, everything would pan-out just fine if I could regularly find such books! These days? I can only think about such geekish behavior, complete with horrible educational choices that I made!

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