Supposedly a true book lover adores the smell of books. I have to confess, I’ve never really understood this. I mean, just before writing this post, I tested this again by smelling my current book and it smells like – paper. Doesn’t give me any nostalgic notions of reading by the fire or anything like that. Still, SO many people talk about book sniffing that there must be some merit to it, right?
So I started thinking about how there are a few books that really do smell good. In fact, sitting here right now, I can literally imagine the smell of my leather bound copy of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series. Something about the combination of the leather and the gold-edged pages smells divine!
Then there’s OLD books. They seem to smell better, right? I always just thought this was because they were … well, old. I figured years of dust or something actually somehow made a book smell good. But then I found this fun infographic from Andy Brunning over at his blog Compound Interest. Turns out, there’s a reason old books smell good. Old books actually release different chemical compounds than new books that give off sweet odors similar to vanilla, almond and flowers! No wonder people love to sniff those old books! Makes me hungry for a book right now …
You can check out Andy Brunning’s original post by clicking on the Infographic and find out more about this phenomenon (including the science behind it).
Do you love the smell of books? Do you think new books are sniffable, or is it just the older ones that make you swoon? I want to know!
As always, this discussion post has been linked up to the 2015 Discussion Challenge.
I never really understood the book smell thing either. Although my oldest son loves the library, he always complains that library books smell and he’s kind of right. I assume it’s a combination of age, dust and food stains.
Ha! Yes, library smell might not be quite as good as “old book smell.” Some scary things go on with those library books! 🙂
‘Book Huffing’ – warn your kids against the inherent dangers of a literary addiction!
Rebecca @ The Portsmouth Review
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Good point! We have to watch out for that problem. 🙂
I have to admit I am one of those book sniffers :). I LOVE the smell of books….new, used or any. It does smell like paper, but paper with ink and fabulousness along with it :).
Well, that fabulousness must make all the difference. 🙂
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I hope the thought of a vanilla-smelling book didn’t make you too hungry for a book, Nicole… It’s OK to smell the books, but don’t eat the books 😉
Have a wonderful weekend and happy reading.
Just wait till you see my new header for Feed Your Fiction Addiction. You won’t be telling me I can’t eat the books anymore!
Oh, I love the smell of books! Seriously. I think graphic novels smell really nice because they are printed on different paper from other novels. But I smell all my books – some smell better than others; I don’t know why. haha
I can kind of imagine the smell of graphic novels right now!
This post! I am particular about the books I like to smell. I like newer pages. That paper smell is euphoric. Love it!
Ah, so – a fan of newer books. I guess we all have our favorites! 🙂
Haha I love this post xD I don’t normally sniff books, but sometimes textbooks and school books have such a strong and weird smell xD
So true. Textbooks can be frightening for that very reason!
I love this! I actually LOVE the smell of new books, but the smell of old books creeps me out. I mean, who knows what is going on in there, in terms of germs and bacteria and such. The hands that touched them.. ew, I don’t even want to think about it. ::shudders:: New books though, I LOOOOVE the smell of factory and chemicals! I know that’s weird, but it’s the way it is 😉
Haha, for some reason, I find this really really funny!:) I don’t sniff books, and have never tried, though I do like the smell of old paper sometimes.
YES!!!! I love to sniff books, whether new or old, especially if I love the story or the cover, or just… feel like freaking people out. I’m gonna save this post and share that infographic, hehe 🙂
Nothing brings a smile to my face more than walking into a bookstore that smells of new books and freshly brewed coffee. There is something about that combination that makes all the worries in my world disappear. And trust me, my husband has tested it. After a bad day at work, he has often taken me to Barnes & Noble just to make my day better. Works every time!
Terri M., the Director
Second Run Reviews
Baahahaha!! This is AWESOME!! I, actually, LOVE the smell of books!! I do tend to smell all of my babies here and there. The smells definitely vary, and some smells are way better than others. I kind of wish I had an old book on hand to smell the difference right now. Love this! 🙂
[…] @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction discusses the fine art of book sniffing – it’s a real thing! […]
[…] we all love a well placed graphic, thanks to Feed your Fiction Addiction for turning me on to this one. So…the next time you get the urge; don’t hesitate. […]
I was sniffing one of the old books handed out by my teachers, and she laughed after seeing me sniff!
Ha! Guess your teacher just can’t understand a true bookworm. 🙂
I subscribe to The Economist partly because I love to sniff the magazine!
Ha! Yes, magazines have their own very distinct smell, don’t they?