I am book sniffer, and you can too.

While it’s irrefutably true that I have many flaws, including certain selfish tendencies with regards to my time and candy, I am generous with Ashley Sniffmy depravities; I happily share them with anyone interested in wallowing in the same godless intellectual muck. And there is no greater sensual indulgence than the sniffing of books.

If you don’t believe me, first consider the vast array of ideologies and sins a book can disseminate. A book is, after all, ideas set loose upon the world. Why, they could be communist! They could promote free love, agnosticism, Satanism, Pastafarianism, tree hugging, cannibalism! Just think! Your children could read a book about a free-lovin’ Pastafarian canibbal! Heaven forbid! They might even start to think for themselves, to ask questions, to challenge any doctrine that crosses their path, to suspect the intentions of their leaders and authority figures. What a terrifying world that would be.

Now consider the stance the various churches have traditionally taken against sensual indulgence. What is sniffing a book if not the ultimate act of defiance—a commitment to forging your own intellectual and moral path and embracing life’s pleasures as they come your way. The pope doesn’t want you to sniff books. Pat Robertson doesn’t want you to sniff books. Oral Roberts doesn’t want you to sniff books. Damacias (the prophet in Scourge of the Righteous Haddock) doesn’t want you to sniff books. Warren Jeffs doesn’t want you to sniff books.

But I want you to sniff books. Mine at least. (The rest are rubbish.) Here’s how you can go about that:

1. Purchase a copy of the book at Amazon.com. (If you already have a copy, you can skip this step.)

2. Locate a camera. Odds are, you’re carrying one in your pocket (hint: fancy phone). Colin Sniff

3. Give Scourge of the Righteous Haddock a good whiff. Inhale deeply. Savor the smell of paper and ink and glue and just the slightest hint of sarcasm. Don’t worry what you look like. A fellow reader will understand why you’re smelling a book, and anyone who doesn’t isn’t worth your time anyway.

4. Send a photo of yourself smelling the book to ashley.schwellenbach@gmail.com.

5. Repeat with friends, pets, celebrities, spouses, girlfriends, strangers, boyfriends, old friends, and statues.

I’ll start a gallery of these pictures and it will piss off the pope.



  1. Hmmm… this doesn’t work so well if it is on the kindle… this is why I really do prefer a good old-fashioned book with pages and cover artwork and everything!

  2. Oh, and also… John Piper is one Christian author who would definitely want you sniffing books! He espouses what he calls “Christian hedonism,” arguing that seeking after God is the ultimate act of pleasure.

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