Why Do Books Smell Good?

Old books have a sweet smell with notes of vanilla flowers and almonds, which is caused by the breakdown of chemical compounds in the paper, while new books smell like they do because of the carious chemicals used when they are manufactured.

What makes old books smell good?

It turns out that the smell of old books is due to the organic materials in books (like cellulose from wood pulp) reacting with light, heat and water, and over time releasing volatile organic compounds or VOCs.

Why do books have a smell?

Books are made up of paper, adhesive, and ink. When these materials degrade over time, they give off organic volatile compounds, which in turn produce a smell that’s appealing to readers. The reason the smell is so appealing may be because it has a hint of vanilla.

What is the smell of books called?

“Biblichor is the word that describes the particular smell that belongs to old books. Biblichor is a newly created word that combines the Greek words biblio (book) with ichor (the fluid that flows like blood in the veins of the gods), much the way petrichor was created.

What does old paper smell like?

Freshly printed books might smell of paper and ink, but older books have a sweet, musky smell that wafts into a book-lovers nose and lingers. Materials like books often release small amounts of volatile organic compounds (or VOC’s) into the air.

What is Bibliosmia?

Bibliosmia (n)

bib-lee-oz-mee-ah. The smell and aroma of a good book. The effect the book has on the nostrils as you breathe in the scent of the pages. This word has not achieved OED status yet and as such I suppose is urban slang, but I am sure we Bibliophiles will soon change that.

What makes things smell old?

Smell is chemistry, and the chemistry of old books gives your cherished tomes their scent. As a book ages, the chemical compounds used—the glue, the paper, the ink–begin to break down. And, as they do, they release volatile compounds—the source of the smell.

Why do books smell musty?

Old books often have a musty smell to them. In order to remove the odor from books you will have to create a air tight container large enough to have the book(s) in and the odor absorbing material in. The musty smell is generally caused by dampness, which in turn causes mould.

Why do library books smell?

Library Smell

The musty smell is most likely cellulose decay. Since the mid-19th century, when papermakers began using groundwood pulp in place of cotton or linen, most paper has contained an unstable compound called lignin, which breaks down into acids and makes paper very brittle.

How do you get the smell out of books?

The same baking soda that absorbs bad odors in the fridge can absorb the bad odors in your books. Place a cup of baking soda or an opened box in a plastic box or bin with a lid. Put the book in the box with the baking soda and close the lid. Leave it for 48-72 hours, then check on the book.