That Library Smell

Stephen Abram recently posted Are Books Smelly?

“I keep hearing people talking about how they love the feel and the smell of books and that sometimes this trumps the allure of e-books for them. Should we be adding Real-Book-Smell to the next generation of e-readers? Smell or scent is a powerful memory aid so when people are telling us they like the smell of books and libraries are they actually recalling the sweet experiences of youth and visits to the library when life was fun and grand? Is this something we can tap? Perhaps we can hire a perfume manufacturer to create Old-Book-Smell cologne or air freshener for our libraries.”

Well, a perfume, ‘In The Library‘, has already been created. “A warm blend of English Novel, Russian & Moroccan Leather Bindings, Worn Cloth and a hint of Wood Polish.”

Now you can enjoy that library smell anytime, anywhere!

David Lee King has a different view of That Library Smell

“I’ve been thinking about ‘that old book smell’ that some libraries have for awhile now. Here’s why – it seems to me that the smell some of us relish in a library is:

  • the smell of books that haven’t moved off the shelves in a very long time
  • which equals =
  • the smell of a library NOT BEING USED
  • which equals =
  • the smell of death

Have that lovely smell of rotting glue and mould in your library? It means that your stuff isn’t relevant, and it’s been sitting for too long.


  • get people using your stuff
  • get rid of the stuff that’s no longer moving
  • get better stuff

Read Stephen’s article here and David Lee King’s here