On the Smell of Old Books


I love old books. And used bookstores. Why?

The smell.

Well, there’s also the fact that I just love old things. Holding something with so much history… But that’s beside the point.

Old books smell wonderful. Someone once told me it was because of the lead breaking down in the old ink and that I would get lead poisoning from smelling them. That freaked me out for a little while. Then I got over it.

And then I found this lovely infographic from Book Riot!


Apparently, it’s not lead…at least, they don’t mention it. Anyway, I’m not too worried. I’ll take lead poisoning over not smelling old books. What better way to die than by the aroma of an old bookstore?

Okay, maybe not. But a wonderfully sciency article all the same! Enjoy!


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