“The smell of the library always lifted my spirits–that peculiar combination of old stone, dust, woodworm, and paper made properly from rags. Sun streamed through the windows on the staircase, illuminating the dust motes flying through the air and shining bars of light on the ancient walls.”
This is the entrance I always used to get into Duke Humfrey’s. That’s the Arts End you see through the doorway, where the tour groups are allowed to go. Barbara Isobel Rubel took this wonderful picture, and it captures perfectly the sense of anticipation that hits me whenever I walk into a library–even if I’m doing it for the thousandth time.
And the smell–yes, the smell. I love it. And I’m not the only one, based on the number of articles written on “old book smell” (here’s one of many: http://www.compoundchem.com/2014/06/01/newoldbooksmell/) not to mention the scented candles meant to replicate it!
If you are reading quite carefully, you might be able to detect a shift in Diana. As she opens herself up to the world, the world is making more of an impression on her. She’s seeing, hearing, and yes smelling things like never before. That’s because she is truly living, rather than hiding.
Thank you, Barbara, for allowing me to repost your picture!