Friday, July 5, 2013

Musty Old Books

Old book bindings at the Merton College library
Old book bindings at the Merton College library, 2005 - photo by Tom Murphy VII, Wikimedia Commons
The International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) has an interesting little article about that "old book smell." Apparently, it's more than just mustiness or mildew - the components of old books produce odors that resemble grass and vanilla! It's even possible to determine the age of some books based on their VOC's (volatile organic compounds). It's a matter of personal preference if you like that smell or not - guess it depends on the book too.

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