Ah, the Smell of Books

Old Books by David Flores
Old Books by David Flores

Most bookophiles love that moment when they crack open a book, new or old, and take the first sniff. When I worked as an editorial assistant at Appalachian Heritage magazine, one of my favorite tasks was unwrapping–and immediately smelling–the review copies of books we received. So what is it that makes books smell so magical? Here’s a great read on the science behind the scent. The author notes that one scientist described the smell of old books as a “combination of grassy notes with a tang of acids and a hint of vanilla over an underlying mustiness,” which I think is both accurate and appropriately romantic. Continue reading “Ah, the Smell of Books”