National Book Lovers Day, August 9th, encourages you to find your favorite reading place, a good book and read the day away. Soak up the wonderful sensation of bibliosmia, named after the Greek words for ‘book’ and ‘smell’. his is the effect the book has on the nostrils as you breathe in the scent of the pages. Books have a scent that is intoxicating, bordering on the addictive. Rejoice book lovers as you soak up the chemical materials used to make books: glue, paper, and ink. As they breaks down, the book releases volatile organic compounds.

Book-smell is caused by the chemical breakdown of compounds within the paper, the slow death of the book. Smell is in some ways the most powerful, the acutest of the senses and the most effective at conjuring up memories. Since new books are printed using toner rather than ink that aroma has changed.

As it was:

  • Early books used parchment or vellum (calf skin) for the book pages.
  • Covers were made of wood and often covered with leather.
  • Bindings were fitted with clasps or straps.
  • Public libraries appeared in the Middle Ages.
  • Books in public libraries were often chained to a bookshelf or a desk to prevent theft.

The particular smell of a book can:

  1. provide important details about the book
  2. reveal its age and condition
  3. help to gauge the type of storage
  4. indicate the care the book requires.

“Linda has published fifteen books. She blogs about the publishing world, posts useful tips on the challenges a writer faces, including marketing and promoting your work, how to build your online platform, how to get reviews and how to self-publish.”