Now that the weather is turning cold, I wanted to remind everyone out there to make sure:
- your books are not under a heating vent, on a radiator, or near a heat source.
- your books are not housed on an outside wall that gets cold (or warm, or damp)
- your books aren’t in direct light or too tightly packed on a shelf
When your books are near a heat source, they dry out and the paper will become brittle and break more easily. Fluctuating temperatures aren’t healthy for your books, and neither is too much moisture, as that can cause mold growth. Light damage is cumulative and irreversible, so the less light that reaches your books, the better!
For more in-depth tips on book health, be sure to click on Healthy Books in the menu on the right-hand side of the page. Thanks for stopping by!
In the Library by John Arthur Lomax
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?
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:
As a follow-up to my earlier post, A Book’s Worst Enemy #4 – Adhesives and metals, I have some graphic images to show you that illustrate the damage that an innocent-seeming sticky-note can do to a book! Beware – this is not for the faint of heart. This particular volume was published in 1968, so the paper isn’t as robust as it would be in a newer book, but it’s not a hundred years old, either! And LOOK WHAT HAPPENED:
So just a word to the wise about stickiness and paper. It’s never a good idea.