Old books up your nose [2]

Are E-book enthusiasts missing out on the olfactory aspects of reading a good-smelling book? The technical aspects of volatile degradation products emitted by books has been examined before, see: Improbable Research, Old books up your nose [1], but a later paper in the Dalhousie macfadyen_smallJournal of Interdisciplinary Management (Vol 7, 2011) goes on to examine the cultural expectations and physical affordances of E-book reading – with a passing emphasis on smell. See: ‘The reader’s devices: The affordances of ebook readers’

The author, Dr. Heather MacFadyen MLIS, PhD at Dalhousie University, informs that :

“What makes this concern for the smell of a book remarkable is that it is almost entirely unrelated to the cognitive act of reading. Nevertheless, this sense of loss has captured the attention of readers. According to one survey, 43% of French students now consider the smell of a book to be a key aspect of their reading experience (Darnton, 2009, p. 54)”

Dr. MacFadyen also reminds us that ‘Smell of Books™’ is available as an aerosol E-Book enhancer – in a range of flavours which include ‘New Book Smell’, and, for those who prefer the olfactory aesthesis of, say, rifling though a first edition old master ‘Classic Musty Scent’.


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