Why do Old Books Smell ?

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Offline neilep

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Why do Old Books Smell ?
« on: 19/04/2007 02:34:40 »
Books that are well old seem to have a smell all of their own ?

Or is it just my imagination ?...

..and the pages seem to go a kind of yellow/orangey tint ?...are these two related ?
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paul.fr

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Why do Old Books Smell ?
« Reply #1 on: 19/04/2007 03:27:58 »
I previously asked this question, na na na na na.  [^] sorry, but i always wanted to say that and had to get it in before my battery dies
« Last Edit: 19/04/2007 03:30:32 by paul.fr »

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Offline Karen W.

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Why do Old Books Smell ?
« Reply #2 on: 19/04/2007 04:49:07 »
I believe it has to do with acid in everything the oils on your hands and air.. Acid free paper helps illiminate some of this decomposition that takes place as the paper breaks down over time. I believe the acid is responsible to some extint for its deterioration over time, along with say dust air etc.

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Offline RD

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Why do Old Books Smell ?
« Reply #3 on: 19/04/2007 15:16:28 »
Books that are well old seem to have a smell all of their own ?

Or is it just my imagination ?...

..and the pages seem to go a kind of yellow/orangey tint ?...are these two related ?

The yellowing can be due to UV

Quote
Rapid and serious deterioration of paper is caused by the oxidation of cellulose brought about by the ultraviolet rays in sunlight and fluorescent light. There are two effects of light on paper that result in its ultimate embrittlement and deterioration. First, it has a bleaching action that causes some whitening of paper and fading of colored papers and certain inks. Second, it causes any lignin, which may be present in the paper, to react with other compounds and turns it yellow or brownish. It is this reaction that results in newspapers' turning yellow on exposure to light.
http://palimpsest.stanford.edu/byauth/maravilla/deterioration-causes.html



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Offline eric l

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Why do Old Books Smell ?
« Reply #4 on: 19/04/2007 15:26:34 »
"Wonder is no wonder" (Simon Stevin 1548-1620)

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Offline tony6789

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Why do Old Books Smell ?
« Reply #5 on: 19/04/2007 16:34:25 »
or it cud be the same reason with old people. When they get old they get smelly so mayb books do 2?
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Offline JimBob

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Why do Old Books Smell ?
« Reply #6 on: 19/04/2007 16:48:25 »
or it cud be the same reason with old people. When they get old they get smelly so mayb books do 2?

Child, when you get old, you do not care for questions such as this. You become grouchy and start thinking of what a lovely time you can have if you fillet a young person. Now, go home, wipe the snot off you nose (didn't your mother give you a handkerchief !!!????) and let me chew on my false teeth in peace. Grumble, grumble, (moan) young know it alll...... no respect for his elders. Wait until he gets old, he'll find out - need to put on a new nappy, stating to swim in this one .. dang, hate to get up Oh, MY BONES! ..................
The mind is like a parachute. It works best when open.  -- A. Einstein

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Offline that mad man

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Why do Old Books Smell ?
« Reply #7 on: 19/04/2007 17:26:17 »
or it cud be the same reason with old people. When they get old they get smelly so mayb books do 2?


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Offline tony6789

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Why do Old Books Smell ?
« Reply #8 on: 19/04/2007 18:05:42 »
or it cud be the same reason with old people. When they get old they get smelly so mayb books do 2?

Child, when you get old, you do not care for questions such as this. You become grouchy and start thinking of what a lovely time you can have if you fillet a young person. Now, go home, wipe the snot off you nose (didn't your mother give you a handkerchief !!!????) and let me chew on my false teeth in peace. Grumble, grumble, (moan) young know it alll...... no respect for his elders. Wait until he gets old, he'll find out - need to put on a new nappy, stating to swim in this one .. dang, hate to get up Oh, MY BONES! ..................

Hahahaha lol, im sry but i just cant stand to go to places with a bunch of old people. call me mean but thats how i am. and hey im 14 ok and getting older isnt cool once u get onld enuf ya gotta start putting dipers back on!! eww! rotfl
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Offline Bored chemist

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Why do Old Books Smell ?
« Reply #9 on: 19/04/2007 19:45:08 »
" once u get onld enuf ya gotta start putting dipers back on"
Not only that, but old people forget how to spell or use capital letters.

Books, like many other things, are subject to bacterial and fungal attack- particularly if they are not kept dry. The products of this decay include volatile organic chemicals like acetic acid and these are responsible for the smell.
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Offline tony6789

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Why do Old Books Smell ?
« Reply #10 on: 26/04/2007 14:40:21 »
Not only that, but old people forget how to spell or use capital letters.









lol i didnt know that!!!
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Offline JustineH

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Why do Old Books Smell ?
« Reply #11 on: 22/05/2007 02:09:59 »
I would have to guess that it might be the mold/mildew that gives it that smell.   [^]

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Offline kdlynn

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Why do Old Books Smell ?
« Reply #12 on: 22/05/2007 03:32:12 »
i love old books for that very reason. maybe i'm weird

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Offline Karen W.

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Why do Old Books Smell ?
« Reply #13 on: 22/05/2007 07:38:15 »
or it cud be the same reason with old people. When they get old they get smelly so mayb books do 2?

Child, when you get old, you do not care for questions such as this. You become grouchy and start thinking of what a lovely time you can have if you fillet a young person. Now, go home, wipe the snot off you nose (didn't your mother give you a handkerchief !!!????) and let me chew on my false teeth in peace. Grumble, grumble, (moan) young know it alll...... no respect for his elders. Wait until he gets old, he'll find out - need to put on a new nappy, stating to swim in this one .. dang, hate to get up Oh, MY BONES! ..................

Hahahaha lol, im sry but i just cant stand to go to places with a bunch of old people. call me mean but thats how i am. and hey im 14 ok and getting older isnt cool once u get onld enuf ya gotta start putting dipers back on!! eww! rotfl

Well Tony the alternative to getting old doesn't seem all that appealing I welcome it.. And further more Old people don't forget how to spell .. or capitalize.. in my case I just don't care anymore. LOL I know where everything should be except that I hate having to mark all the punctuation as I write!

"Life is not measured by the number of Breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."

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Offline Queequeg

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Why do Old Books Smell ?
« Reply #14 on: 24/05/2007 16:19:00 »
In addition to mold smells of various kinds, I have noticed that some old books have distinct vanilla notes in their smell.  I attribute this to breakdown of lignin to give vanillin over time.  Anybody else noticed this?