Smells have always been evocative to me, and smells based in nature are always the most appealing and memorable. The smell of rain on hot concrete, freshly cut grass and a warm tomato straight from the vine on my grandfather’s garden are all smells that have followed me into adulthood with the power to allow me to instantly travel through time and revisit people and places long gone.
Last weekend I visited Scorpio Book’s new children and young person’s specialty bookstore, ‘Telling Tales’. Of course its visually appealing, the layout is roomy, lots of space to wander along the shelves, each book obviously handpicked and perfect. But the smell…oh the smell. Notes of wood, paper, ink and possibility, hope and adventure. Each volume a tiny world waiting to find its reader.
This visit was even more special for me because at the moment I have two titles of my own in stores. I can say wholeheartedly that that experience is all you think it might be. It feels a little bit like leaving your child with someone else for the first time. You’re giddy with the freedom and excitement of walking away, but you also want to stay and explain every detail and expectation. Did you do enough, is it ready, will it be loved?
Like a lot of businesses bookshops need our support more than ever now. So this Saturday (and every other day!) I encourage you to make a special visit, either in person or online and maybe even start your holiday season shopping, or treat yourself.
'A reader lives lives a thousand lives before he dies' George R R Martin
Sarina Dickson is a writer, artist and educator based in Christchurch, New Zealand.