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Science explains what causes the smell of new and old books

One surefire way to know you love books: you sneak around bookstores and bury your nose in every book you can find, taking in the sweet, heavenly aroma of their pages. But have you ever asked yourself the mysterious and dumbfounding question, ‘what causes the addicting scent of books?’

Compound Interest has provided an infographic explaining the science behind the smell of books. According to them, the smell of new books stems from the emissions of three sources: the paper, the type of ink used for printing, and the adhesives used for book binding. With different publishers and manufacturers all using different materials, it’s safe to say that no two new books have the same exact aroma.

As with old books – which we all know smells a million times better than new ones – their aroma is simply a result of the same chemicals breaking down over time. You can check out the full explanation over at Compound Interest.

Via Design Taxi

aroma chemistry

About the author

Inigo is a writer and graphic designer from Manila, Philippines. He is a soldier of love who will carry you on his strong back of awesomeness when the zombie apocalypse arrives.

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