It's 'National Book Lover's Day'

 Isaac Salazar – book sculpture (

Isaac Salazar – book sculpture (

If you can bear to drag yourself away from the Olympics coverage, why not take a break in a sunny spot and get your nose stuck in a book - new, old or swapped!

In need of new literary temptation? Take a detour and pop into your nearest bookshop and buy a new book; just that 'new ink and dry, creamy paper-y' smell is enough to keep me browsing for an hour or so.  Even better, find a second-hand bookshop, where years of history, dust and memories are impregnated in the pages and on the shelves - you might find a rare gem.

When in central London, I like to head for Cecil Court off Leicester Square, they have a wonderful selection of bookshops and ephemera; and if only a multi-level will do, Waterstones is bibliophile heaven on Piccadilly as well as Foyles in Charing Cross (better coffee here too!); Daunts in Marylebone and for beautifully produced,  special print have a peek at Persephone books in Lambs Conduit Street.

If you are feeling really radical and eco-minded, then opt for the following:

  • Visit a local library, the ones remaining need our support
  • Why not book swap with a friend or colleague, a great, novel way (could not resist) to try something new but NOT FSoG - lets be original.
  • Re-read an old or forgotten book

It seems only fitting and in theme for me to suggest a few of my favourite 'perfumed prose' and generally fragrant-inspired literature:

 Isaac Salazar – book sculpture (

Isaac Salazar – book sculpture (

  • Perfume - Patrick Suskind (very dark+visceral, a one off - its in my top 10)
  • Jitterbug Perfume - Tom Robbins (psychedelic genius, fragrance, time-travel and immortality)
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde (a 19c  faustian pact, moral decline, beauty, decay and pervasive use of scent language)
  • Midsummer Nights Dream - Shakespeare (a fantastical favourite)
  • Essence & Alchemy - Mandy Aftel (history, recipes and a tribute to natural perfumery)
  • Scent: The Mysterious and Essential Powers of Smell - Annick Le Guerer (fascinating tour of Olfaction and humanity)
  • The Emperor of Scent - Chandler Burr (fascinating insight into the world of olfaction and Luca Turin)
  • Perfumes : The Guide - Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez - A witty, divisive guide to an encyclopedic offering of perfumes, old + new, classic + celebrity

In celebration of literary escapism and inspiration, lets honour and share our Book Love, I would love to know what you are reading, do you have a 'must-have on the bookshelf' that you want to share or recommend?  Or is there a secret, special bookshop that you might want to  declare publicly?

If you want to share 'why you love books', pop over to twitter and tweet @stylistmagazine #Ilovebooks.

Happy reading!!

check out for more inspiring book sculpture