On the Smell of Ink

New books have a distinctive smell. Paperbacks, especially.

There’s the paper smell. Sometimes there’s little paper particles from when the paper’s cut. It’s an earthy smell.

Then there’s the ink smell. It’s a tangy smell. Sharp. Even a little metallic.

Then there’s the binding smell. Nothing smells like fresh glue.

Yesterday was a great day for me for those smells. Not only did I receive my comp copies of Grand Designs (more of anon), but I received copies of the catalogs I oversaw this month at work.

I smelled them all. The UK order form, especially, was so… distinct in its smell. I leafed through it, marvelling at the wonder of eighty pages I’d put together, signed off on, generated the text for, and so forth. Then, I closed it, lifted the edge to my nose, and inhaled deep.

Ah, the smell of ink. Paper. Ink. My eyes rolled languidly back. Ah.

There’s nothing in the world like it. That smell of ink. That smell of freshly cut paper. It’s so… intoxicating.

Grand Designs looked fantastic. I love the cover, as I’ve mentioned before. It’s a hefty book–you could build a house using these as bricks, I think. Nice. 🙂

The order forms. Wow. They’re my children. They’re. My. Children. That dawned on me. I created them. I picked out the cover. (Well, from two choices. But… it was my choice.) I wrote the copy. I wrote the copy. My children.


And they smelled of ink! And paper! And ink! 😆

3 thoughts on “On the Smell of Ink

  1. “On the Smell of Ink”- *sigh* once again, something I can’t relate to.

    (Although I am willing to bet this is what my room smells like, with as many books as I have…)

    That is cool about seeing the final product of all your hard work. Here’s to many more days like this one
    :raise glass:

  2. Hi Allyn-

    Your comments here brought back one of my few good memories of grade school—the smell of freshly made memiograph (I know the spelling’s wrong) copies of school worksheets. I loved the smell!

    I will eventually get to your SCE story. I am the one who has to read series books in order.

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