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.
*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:
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?