Do You Love the Smell of Old Books?

smell of old booksWhat you smell may be a marker for their slow death.  After noticing that professional conservators smelled paper while doing their assessments, researchers from University College London's Centre for Sustainable Heritage used gas chromatography-mass spectrometry to identify and quantify the substances released by old books.

Their report in the journal Analytical Chemistry identified acetic acid, furfural, and lipid peroxidation products in various proportions depending on the types of paper, binding and inks used, and they suggest that a "sniff test" may be useful to identify books in need of the attention of a conservator.

And how does one describe the smell of old books to a non-chemist?  The next time you attend a wine tasting, deftly switch the conversation to books and tell your friends that what you love is...
"...a combination of grassy notes with a tang of acids and a hint of vanilla over an underlying mustiness."

LinkPhoto: Tom Woodward.

Newest 5
Newest 5 Comments

Yes i love the smell of old books and its very true smell of old books is different from all its just too good.I prefer to read story books and other novels which are very old just because i want to smell that books.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Commenting is closed.





Check out Twaggies' very funny clip:

Tech Fails - Twaggies by Twaggies
Email This Post to a Friend
"Do You Love the Smell of Old Books?"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.

 

Success! Your email has been sent!

close window