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Thursday, 12 November 2009

The smell of old books...?

Great article about how to measure the age of old books and historical documents simply by sniffing them!! Whatever next? Touching a rhino to see how temperamental it is? Tasting a rare item of food to see when it was made?

"Researchers report in the journal Analytical Chemistry that a new "sniff test" can measure degradation of old books and historical documents."

I used to love walking around large civic libraries when I was younger, mostly in Southampton in the south of England and inhaling large doses of that "old book smell". I'm sure I must have got high on it at times - that old familiar smell was music to my nose!

The article goes on to say, "These [smells] are released by paper as it ages and produce the familiar "old book smell". Will the kindle ever be able to give you the same experience? Or any of the new breed of portable, handheld reading devices? I doubt it and the sheer joy of reading from paper bound books and the portability factor will never completely eradicate the love of carrying around a small tome in your pocket! Viva la tome!!

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