Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Ever wondered why....

secondhand bookstores smell so good? Thanks to Bookshelf Porn, now you don't have to wonder anymore:

"Lignin, the stuff that prevents all trees from adopting the weeping habit, is a polymer made up of units that are closely related to vanillin. When made into paper and stored for years, it breaks down and smells good. Which is how divine providence has arranged for secondhand bookstores to smell like good quality vanilla absolute, subliminally stoking a hunger for knowledge in all of us."

Amazing no?

What book(s) are you currently reading? Me? I just finished When You Are Engulfed by Flames (David Sedaris) and highly recommend it!



  1. oh that is interesting!! they need to make a candle out of that!

  2. Hahaha - now I know!!! I love, love, love perusing old book stores. Glad to know the scientific reasons for my being so drawn to them (another reason are inscriptions - I love the idea that someone else enjoyed the book before me). I just finished the Sun Also Rises and have started The Paris Wife. And Krystal, I agree. If they have a candle that smells like the New York Times, surely they can have a candle that smells like a used book.

  3. oh i loved discovering that! thanks!

    although not sure i smell vanilla, my favourite scent, in book stores, but yes, perhaps the scent there is a derivative.

    i'm reading History of Love right now... so far so good.

  4. No way! I agree with Krystal. I just love used bookstores.

  5. I agree with you, old books smell good. I'm reading 1984 for the moment...


  6. i'm starting to read the adventures of sherlock holmes... always wanted to see what they were all about!

  7. I had no idea! But that still doesn't explain to me why I'm pretty much the only person in the world who doesn't like the smell of old books, ha!

    I just finished reading the second Hunger Games book and am about to start the third. Loving them!

  8. Ahhh lesson learned :-) And I hope you're enjoying your book - David Sedaris is too funny!

  9. What an interesting fact! Now I can impress people at dinner parties with my new knowledge! I just finished Graveminder by Melissa Marr and A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle -- interesting books in two completely different ways. I'm heading to the library tomorrow to get more. It's been awhile since I read a Sedaris book -- I'll see if I can grab that one.

  10. yes, yes yes bring on the second hand book store smell! i'm reading banana yoshimoto's The Lake.

  11. I love that quote! And I confess I'm reading HP2 for the umpteenth time...luff.

  12. What an interesting little fact!
    I love David Sedaris! Have you checked out his sister Amy's books? I use them as coffee table books. They are hysterical and whenever friends come over, they end up grabbing one, flipping through and laughing out loud.

    Hope you're having a lovely week!


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