One of the recent cultural events causing a great stir in our little community here was the announcement about the meat-scented candles. You’ve probably seen the story: a food company which doesn’t pay me to mention its name came out with a line of candles featuring three different aromas of meat being cooked. These sold out immediately, and the company is said to be thinking of offering more, possibly with several other similar aromas. Either the smell of meat is that much in demand, or people are trying to chase out the last hints of all those pumpkin spice candles they picked up last fall.
Some ingenious souls have suggested that what I need to do to make this Book Fair a resounding success is develop a Newberry brand of candles that smell like books. The aroma of a room filled with leather books, they feel, would be a bestseller, or that smell a library takes on as fall turns into winter. These scents would be a comfort to real booklovers, according to this marketing plan.
As usual, Uncle Blogsy is here to answer the call. And his answer is, “What are you, nuts?”
Real booklovers, cantaloupe casserole, don’t NEED candles to make their abodes smell like boxes of books. They have books to do that. And if they need MORE of that delicate aroma, they can come to the Book fair next month and buy more books.
What we really need to develop for those avid book people is a line of candles which smell like the Newberry Book Fair. THAT is an aroma of excitement and suspense which they get just five days out of the year (and that only if they’re Associates, and can come to the Preview.) We could start selling these next April, say, just to remind them of the impending Book Binge. I haven’t done any surveys yet to establish what scents we need, but the line would have to include:
The aroma of two hundred people waiting in line to get in at the Preview: One whiff and you will almost see them, clutching their Preview passes and smiling at each other like fellow lifeboat passengers, knowing that each is about to jump to get the last swallow from the canteen
The smell of fresh cardboard box bookcases under the tables: This is a tantalizing scent to remind you that the best books are always the hardest to reach
The odor of the cherry paneling in Ruggles Hall: Books smell like books, of course, but this delicate undertone will remind anyone of the joy of moving up the aisles to that three-table display of paperback literature
The scent of new paint: This is a special limited edition candle just for 2018, to remind customers forever of what it was like to be the first Book Fair crowd to invade the newly remodeled first floor, and navigate the new halls and new rooms
The fragrance of scorched plastic: Of course, any real booklover will try to come to the Book Fair every day, probably maxing out a different credit card on each one. (You DID remember to put in a bid on the Peruvian blowgun, didn’t you?)
These are, as noted, just preliminary ideas. Some other suggestions—the smell of the donated lunches in the Volunteer Hospitality Room, the smell of NEW books in our new bookshop—will need serious consideration. At any rate, the whole line would be a nice answer to those people who find the whole aroma (some have said “stench”) of the Book Fair and its customers obnoxious. They have suggested from time to time that we scent the whole event, but, as luck would have it, we aren’t allowed to burn candles around this place.
Though we HAVE given some consideration to putting an industrial deep fat fryer in checkout, so we can ask the customers, as they pay, “Did you want fries with your odor?”