What Exactly IS the “Book Smell” that People Miss with eReaders?

When comparing paper books with eReaders, one thing that is always on the “miss” list is the smell of old books.

What exactly is this smell and why is it so important to many?

This video will answer all your book-olfactory questions πŸ™‚ :

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26 thoughts on “What Exactly IS the “Book Smell” that People Miss with eReaders?

  1. Interesting that a smell so many of us are attracted to is probably not very good for us to be breathing! Chemicals and mold and decay, oh my! πŸ˜€ Very informative, SC. Thanks for sharing with us.

  2. Loved the video!! The smell of the books is one of the main reason why I still hesitate to move on to a kindle or a tablet… This really was an interesting piece of information… Thank you so much for sharing it!! πŸ™‚

  3. I can remember, many years ago, being in the home of a woman whose young child lived in his bedroom within a plastic bubble. He was allergic to many things, and was also very limited food-wise. I remember being quite dismayed when, walking into one room I found old books and newspapers piled to the ceiling… I can remember thinking they couldn’t be helpful to the young boy’s condition… She, the mother, didn’t see any problem yet I could smell the obvious decay and ink smell quite easily… I wonder to what degree this hoarding effected the child..? After listening to the video, Kathy, I believe it may have had quite a bearing upon his health..

    • What an interesting story, Carolyn! I’m guessing you are probably right. If he was so sensitive to the environment, I’m sure the piles of paper were not helpful for his condition.

  4. Sense of smell is stronger than any other sense in recalling memories, according to many studies. I think it’s not so much the smell we like as the memories behind the smell.

  5. Interesting, but don’t electronic devices have their pitfalls environmentally too? I use both. I like to turn the pages and I love my electronics. Ok. I’m the old ball. πŸ˜€

      • I know I do! I wouldn’t give up my print library for anything and add to it regularly, but I love my Kindle, too. So portable…an entire library in my purse…and so accommodating, regarding size of text, etc. Plus, I’m reaching the point where my bookshelves are getting full. This way, I can be more selective about what I want to buy in print, and still never stop buying new books. It just doesn’t need to be either/or. I prefer taking advantage of the best of both worlds.

  6. Paper books are easier on the eyes than electronic screens. At least I think so. Looking at the computer screen too long always makes my eyes tired. And just now the sun started shining on it so I can hardly see it at all, not so with a paper book! I never considered smell as a reason to read a paper book though, can’t say that I like the musty old book smell. After just having cleaned house and getting rid of a multitude of books, kindles are certainly starting to look better from a space saving point of view for sure.

    • Oh yes… computer screens are tough on the eyes. And tablets are the SAME as computer screens. But please understand, a Kindle is DIFFERENT. The Kindle has an e-ink screen and this is the same (only better πŸ™‚ ) experience as paper. Your eyes will not tire. Actually, by changing the font to the most comfortable size for you, the e-ink screen lets us read longer than ever!

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