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in love with a used paperback

by Rob Friesel

The way I put it yesterday:

today I bought a 1987 paperback reprint of Frank Herbert’s “Dune” because I liked the way it smelled

Dune, which I’m almost ashamed to admit I’ve never read.

I saw it on the shelf at The Crow for $2.95. If I’m to believe the cover price, this paperback (printed in 1987) sold for $4.50. So I’m not jumping up and down about the price1. But I’d just come off the high of the NaNoWriMo win, and the copy seemed in good enough condition.

But then I picked it up.

Oh that smell. That pulp-and-ink smell. It is an aromatic time machine. It is a college dorm room in the 1970s. It is childhood with a flashlight after bedtime lights-out. It exists simultaneously in the past and the future. It is escape. It is the real-world vehicle for imagined and impossible destinies. When you dream about interstellar travel, it smells like those pages.

  1. A 23 year-old paperback? Even 99¢ isn’t a jump-up-and-down deal. []

About Rob Friesel

Software engineer by day, science fiction writer by night; weekend homebrewer. Author of The PhantomJS Cookbook and a short story in Please Do Not Remove. View all posts by Rob Friesel →

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