If you can bear to drag yourself away from the Olympics coverage, why not take a break in a sunny spot and get your nose stuck in a book – new, old or swapped!
In need of new literary temptation? Take a detour and pop into your nearest bookshop and buy a new book; just that ‘new ink and dry, creamy paper-y’ smell is enough to keep me browsing for an hour or so. Even better, find a second-hand bookshop, where years of history, dust and memories are impregnated in the pages and on the shelves – you might find a rare gem.
When in central London, I like to head for Cecil Court off Leicester Square, they have a wonderful selection of bookshops and ephemera; and if only a multi-level will do, Waterstones is bibliophile heaven on Piccadilly as well as Foyles in Charing Cross (better coffee here too!); Daunts in Marylebone and for beautifully produced, special print have a peek at Persephone books in Lambs Conduit Street.
If you are feeling really radical and eco-minded, then opt for the following:
- Visit a local library, the ones remaining need our support
- Why not book swap with a friend or colleague, a great, novel way (could not resist) to try something new but NOT FSoG – lets be original.
- Re-read an old or forgotten book
It seems only fitting and in theme for me to suggest a few of my favourite ‘perfumed prose’ and generally fragrant-inspired literature:
- Perfume – Patrick Suskind (very dark+visceral, a one off – its in my top 10)
- Jitterbug Perfume – Tom Robbins (psychedelic genius, fragrance, time-travel and immortality)
- The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde (a 19c faustian pact, moral decline, beauty, decay and pervasive use of scent language)
- Midsummer Nights Dream – Shakespeare (a fantastical favourite)
- Essence & Alchemy – Mandy Aftel (history, recipes and a tribute to natural perfumery)
- Scent: The Mysterious and Essential Powers of Smell – Annick Le Guerer (fascinating tour of Olfaction and humanity)
- The Emperor of Scent – Chandler Burr (fascinating insight into the world of olfaction and Luca Turin)
- Perfumes : The Guide – Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez – A witty, divisive guide to an encyclopedic offering of perfumes, old + new, classic + celebrity
In celebration of literary escapism and inspiration, lets honour and share our Book Love, I would love to know what you are reading, do you have a ‘must-have on the bookshelf’ that you want to share or recommend? Or is there a secret, special bookshop that you might want to declare publicly?
If you want to share ‘why you love books’, pop over to twitter and tweet @stylistmagazine #Ilovebooks.
check out http://www.isaacgsalazar.com for more inspiring book sculpture