Stop Smelling Your Books


Photo Credit: We Know Memes


This blog is coming up on 12,000 comments, and you would not believe how many people have said something about the smell of a new book. I’m pretty sure each and every time I’ve read that in a comment I’ve rolled my eyes and proceeded to scream loudly on the inside.

I mean, new cars have a nice smell. New shoes have a nice smell. Heck, a pile of clothes out of the dryer has a nice scent, but books? I’ve never once smelled a new book. And I’ve never even thought to do so. I guess I missed the memo that told everyone how great paper and ink smell.

I’m writing this imagining all of you walking through Barnes and Noble or your local bookstore just picking random books off the shelves and smelling them. And repeating this over and over until….I don’t even know. Until you catch someone looking at you like you should be institutionalized? Seriously, there might be something wrong with you if you’re smelling your books so much.

Oh! I know! You’re actually in the drug trade and you’ve laced the pages of your books with some illegal substance and you sniff them to get your high. Glad I finally figured it out.

54 thoughts on “Stop Smelling Your Books

  1. Well I can’t say anything for a new book smell…but walking into a used bookstore – especially those ones that have books on every surface and from floor to ceiling. Musty paper just seems like the RIGHT smell, one that makes me want to sit down and read everything in reach.

    I don’t claim that it’s sane…but it is what it is. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I can’t believe you’ve never sniffed a new book! I agree with Brittany that old books smell heavenly. I have 2 books that were gifted to me by my fiancΓ© that are roughly each 100 years old that smell amaaazing. But even newer books just have a brilliant paper and ink smell to them that’s kind of… warm? And comforting. Not gonna lie, I may have sniffed a book from one of my bookshelves just earlier this week… no shame.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I LOVE the smell of books…I mean most of them. Literally every time I buy a book (unless it’s from the goodwill) I always smell it…I can’t help myself! I work in an office with piles of paper and yeah….96 bright 24 lb. paper smells AMAZING….yes I’ve smelled it when no one was looking. Ha ha! I’m one of those weird ones that would love the smell of books even if I wasn’t a writer or hated reading.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Hey, John – looks like you’ve just received another four comments about smelling books. I don’t think you’re ever going to stop book-lovers from loving books.

    Maybe I have an underdeveloped sense of smell, or maybe it got mixed up with my other senses, but I really like the clean electronic feel of my trusty Kindle…


  5. I no longer notice an aroma from a new book, but ages ago, ahem, years ago, in my childhood, I remember sniffing the pages and thinking what a wonderful fragrance arose from within. Blessings…


  6. I know what “book smell” is, but I’m pretty indifferent to it. I don’t really get the fascination. But I’m more of a visual/tactile person – I like when books have pretty bindings, etched pages, etc. I appreciate when a book is made with interesting materials. I like books to look pretty on the shelf. But hey, what’s inside is the main thing that matters.


  7. Sorry, man. You’re surrounded by a bunch of loons. Embrace it! Crazy people make the world interesting. I also love the smell of books, but not enough to try and scavenge for a perfume of the same scent. I just notice it when I flip through a book, embrace it, then bury myself in the story held between the covers. It’s a nice smell. Don’t be hating on the smell!


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