Why Smoking is Bad for Books

While you’re enjoying David Sedaris’ new one, When You are Engulfed in Flames, I just hope you’re not smoking. Books and cigs don’t mix, not only because the pages are flimsy and flammable. Having been on a number of estate sales, somber assignments for which we are called to the home of a deceased reader, I have seen firsthand the depressing residue years of smoking leaves behind. It’s a legacy I trust you don’t want associated with your name. Never mind your lungs, it’s the book jackets we’re concerned about. Sure we can smell a smoker’s books from across the room. But imagine what they look like, shellacked with an orange/brown nicotine glaze? They look sick, like a jaundiced butler peering through a gauzy curtain in the library. Creepy. And depending on the voracity of your habit, it will take some trusted conservator hours more scrubbing to get it off once you’re gone. So please, think of the books next time you light up, and don’t. ~MC

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1 Response to “Why Smoking is Bad for Books”


  1. 1 Eye June 11, 2008 at 7:09 pm

    Great thoughts!


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