Monday, March 14, 2011

Why Books Turn Me On

Circulating around the world o'books the last couple of months is the excerpt from "Perfumes, the Guide" by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez. (Published by Viking Press). Here's the quote that people have been posting: "Lignin, the stuff that prevents all tress from adopting the weeping habit, is a polymer made up of units that are closely related to vanillin. When made into paper and stored for years, it breaks down and smells good. Which is how divine providence has arranged for secondhand bookstores to smell like good quality vanilla absolute, subliminally stoking a hunger for knowledge in all of us."

So there might be a reason why I get that tingly feeling whenever I walk into a bookstore (used or new, actually). It seems there's always a connection somewhere between hunger for knowledge and hunger for food, or why books are referred to as nourishment for the brain. And of course there is always a connection between food and sex and smell. My point is, all of these are connected. The mind, the heart, the body. Dozens of research and academic papers have explored this concept at length, and this is for the most part the basis of my blog. I feel...satisfied after reading a good book, especially one that invokes emotions, something Aristotle referred to as catharsis. One hunger feeds another, and I'm much more likely to read a book with a drink and/or snack nearby. I think the only difference is that eventually my body will get full, but my mind has a much larger capacity.

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