Why does sunlight cause books to fade?

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Tobias Lee, via facebook

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Why does sunlight cause books to fade?
« on: 20/10/2010 09:30:04 »
Tobias Lee, via facebook asked the Naked Scientists:
One of my bookshelves is often in direct sunlight and colours on many book spines have faded over the years… what is the process that causes this?

Also, yellow and light, or neon, oranges and pinks seem to fade faster - are some colours more susceptible or is it that the fading is just more noticeable on lighter colours?

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 20/10/2010 09:30:04 by _system »