When work or life gets too stressful and overwhelming, I pack up and head to a bookstore. Spending some time walking in the aisles, picking up the books, turning the pages, breathing in their scent, calms me down and makes me feel reassured and centered. This is particularly the case with old books–their sturdiness, their age, the heaviness of the pages–has always been a steadying and soothing influence when I am upset or feel disquieted.
Does the smell of old books (or new books) and paper have an effect on you?
PS – One of my favorite places is Strand Bookstore in New York.