Science and Infographics Explain the Heavenly Aroma of Old Books

The other day I saw an Infographic about the unmistakable smell of Old Books, and I liked it so much I felt I should put together a post on the subject. Upon searching for appropriate articles and graphics to attach here, I also found the most amazing thing ever. It’s probably not new to most of my readers, but.. BOOK AND PAPER-SCENTED CANDLES AND PERFUMES! Listed on ebookfriendly.com, I personally love the idea of burning a candle called Ex Libris, or Oxford Library.
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*image retrieved from http://ebookfriendly.com/book-smell-perfumes-candles/#book-smell-candles

But I’m already off track. On September 26, 2014, Lisa Winter wrote, Where Does the Smell of Old Books Come From? for IFL Science. To paraphrase, the article says that “volatile organic compounds” break down over the years, causing that smell which makes bibliophiles grow weak in the knees. The article is a nice, quick read and explains why there really is an old book smell.

This next article, What Causes “Old Book Smell”? by Matt Soniak for mental_floss is also fairly short, but has a little more detail to it, and adds some interesting tidbits like, “a book’s smell is also influenced by its environment . . . which is why some books have hints of cigarette smoke, others smell a little like coffee, and still others, cat dander.”

And if articles just don’t do it for you, these Infographics definitely will:
1. Compound Interest has a great one, “What Causes the Smell of New & Old Books?” I like how it addresses the bells of old and new books, because new books definitely have a distinctive smell too. Click on the picture below for the full Infographic:
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2. This Infographic, published on June 3, 2014 by the Daily Mail, is similar to the one above, but who can resist another book-related Infographic?
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That’s a Book?!

In February I posted a TED Talk about Brian Dettmer’s work, but I thought I would make a post that draws my readers’ attention to more of his art. Check out his amazing art featured on his website. Dettmer’s altered books are absolutely fascinating. Pictures and illustrations always make a book better, and by changing the books so that their story is the pictures, Dettmer re-creates every one of the books he works on.
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*20th Century Medica (detail), 2012. Image courtesy of the Artist and Toomey Turrell Fine Art. Retrieved from http://briandettmer.com/art/2012/#p945

Another book artist who deserves some attention is Alexander Korzer-Robinson. It’s clear that his work is reminiscent of the collage style, and the books he alters are all older, so the illustrations that he exposes are often from the Victorian era or early 20th-century (though not all are). As a result, he transforms antique books into visual trips into the past. Click here to view his stunning portfolio.
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*Nouveau Larousse Illustre Vol VII, 1908 by Alexander Korzer-Robinson. Image retrieved from http://www.alexanderkorzerrobinson.co.uk/portfolio/402366_nouveau-larousse-illustre-vol-vii-1908.html

A Paper Craft Castle On the Ocean

Unfortunately this exhibition is several years old. BUT, the pictures here are worth seeing of this phenomenal work of art. Please click on “View Original” and enjoy this stunning piece!

Tokyobling's Blog

I had the wonderful opportunity to see this wonderful paper craft art installation by a genius of the name of Wataru Itou (伊藤航), a young student of a major art university here in Tokyo. The installation is hand made over four years of hard work, complete with electrical lights and a moving train, all made of paper! Clearly, this man must have created one of the most stunning examples of Paper Craft in the world? At the exhibition you will also have the chance to see a video showing Mr. Itou at work in his studio, cutting and folding piece by piece. The exhibition is called Umi no Ue no Oshiro (A Castle On the Ocean ), 海の上のお城. It is exhibited at Umihotaru, a place which in itself is a major attraction: a service area in the middle of the ocean, right between Tokyo City and Chiba Prefecture. If you…

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The Most Beautiful Libraries

There are always new posts and articles popping up about beautiful or interesting libraries and I thought I would combine a few, so you can get your fill of architecture and books without having to navigate to another page or site. And what better way to begin the weekend?

The 25 Most Beautiful Public Libraries in the World by Emily Temple for Flavorwire.com on January 1, 2013.
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18 Libraries Every Book Lover Should Visit In Their Lifetime by Asta Thrastardottir for Business Insider on January 1, 2015.
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The Most Spectacular Libraries in the World by The Telegraph at telegraph.co.uk
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*image retrieved from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/10382588/The-most-spectacular-libraries-in-the-world.html?frame=2705761&amgpage=1. Photo by Will Pryce

For those of us who never tire of looking at these divine meldings of gorgeous spaces with their inspiring contents, perhaps you would be interested in a book of lovliness that you can hold in your hands and proudly display on your coffee table? If you are, The Most Beautiful Libraries in the World with text by Jacques Bosser and stunning photographs by Guillaume De Laubier is just the thing.
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Happy dreaming!

Say it with Infographics!

I just paid a visit to piktochart.com and created my first published Infographic. This tool is amazingly easy to use and I think every librarian should know how to create an Infographic. Visuals are everything these days, so if you want to convey a message to patrons, say it with graphics!

Here’s what I just made. It isn’t spectacular, but it’s not bad for a first attempt:
Infographic

Bringing Calm to Your Hectic Life

I remember seeing adult coloring books and posters when I was a kid, but they are something I haven’t thought of for years. The other day, I stumbled upon Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book by Johanna Basford and I thought to myself how much fun it would be just get some fresh coloured pencils or markers, and sit with that book for an hour or two and let all my cares slip away. With that in mind, I would like to recommend some adult coloring books that are sure to bring some calm to your hectic schedule:

1. Enchanted Forest: An Inky Quest & Coloring Book and Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book by Johanna Basford
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2. Color Me Calm by Lacy Mucklow (author) and Angela Porter (illustrator)
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3. Flower Designs Coloring Book (Volume 1) by Jenean Morrison
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