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VIDEO: Why Do Old Books Smell?

Many people use the excuse that they love the smell of an old book to describe why they prefer print books to eBooks. Abe Books helps explain the science behind the smell of old books in the above video.

In the video, Richard from Abe Books says, “A physical book is made up of organic matter that reacts with heat, light, moisture, and most importantly of all, the chemicals used in its production. And it is this unique reaction that causes the unique used books smell.”

Here is more from Abe Books’s Youtube post: “Chemists at University College, London have investigated the old book odor and concluded that old books release hundreds of volatile organic compounds into the air from the paper. The lead scientist described the smell as ‘A combination of grassy notes with a tang of acids and a hint of vanilla over an underlying mustiness.’”

Via The Atlantic.

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