The Book Smell

Whether old or new, we’ve all probably smelled a book at some point or another… I mean, who can help themselves when they just smell so darn good? book smell

And I do mean all books, despite the fact that they’re all quite distinct in their scent – whether it be an old book, new book, library book or textbook (and you cannot tell me that textbooks don’t have a particular scent of their own, they do, and often I associate it with long, long, depressing hours spent pouring over them the night before exams) people seem to have different opinions over which smell they prefer.

And then there are the people who are adamant that books either smell of nothing or don’t smell good at all… and I guess it’s a free world and they’re welcome to have that opinion. But I think that we can agree that products such as the Book scent by Commodity and the Paper Passion perfume just wouldn’t exist and people wouldn’t spend exuberant amounts to smell of a mixture of paper and ink if there wasn’t something enticing about the smell.  Of course, if you want to smell of book but don’t want to spend such amounts on a bottle of liquid – there are more affordable scents such as this one by The Library of Fragrance which do the job just as well.

And of course being the overly curious nerd that I am, I have actually researched the reason behind one of my favourite smells to find that the difference in smells is caused by the varying chemicals given off by books as they age, older books tend to have more lignin (a chemical which reinforces the structure of the tree) which produces the slightly vanilla-like smell that accompanies the muskiness that we relate to old novels. New books differ more in their scents as the development in book printing has meant a greater range of chemicals can potentially be used – meaning that not all new books will have the same smell.

The science aside though, the scent of books can also be changed by the people they have been in contact with – library books being a great example of that, and I think it’s almost like they carry a part of their owners in themselves which is a quite nice notion really.

Do you have a favourite book smell? Or do books not smell like anything to you, or maybe, just maybe you haven’t lived and smelled a book before? Is there a book scent that you do not like?

Tell me in the comments below 🙂

“I stepped into the bookshop and breathed in that perfume of paper and magic that strangely no one had ever thought of bottling.” 

– The Angels Game, Carlos Ruiz Zafon

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Discussion: Blogging Burnout

SO this has actually been an issue of mine for quite a long while now and I guess that this post is also an update of sorts as well as a discussion.

I do not know why, or how, or when but at some point along the line I have started viewing this whole blogging thing as a chore more than anything else.

The enjoyment of it seeped out, leaving me where I am currently: unable to think of ideas for more original content (instead of just reviews, although those seem to be received quite well by my audience – so big thanks for that) and with very little will to blog at all – because without new ideas, is there really a point?

BUT for some reason I cannot bring myself to do anything about it – I’ve heard of people taking hiatuses to focus on their lives, and if  I was being honest I could probably do with one of those seeing as there are a lot of things going on at the moment. From deciding my entire future in the next 6 months and keeping my grades up to a high enough standard to allow me to pursue my aspirations in medicine, to my private life and all the issues that may arise in that from time to time, one could definitely say that I have quite a lot on my plate. And okay, maybe in retrospect this period of my life won’t seem at all that bad but currently, it is a lot to deal with and I can’t say I feel like I’m doing a good job balancing the whole thing.

And yet even with all that going on in the background, I still continue to write my blog – so maybe not all hope is lost in that respect. Although in recent days I have also hit a major reading slump to the point where it has now basically been two entire weeks since I touched a book…. which, uh… yeah doesn’t help the feeling of utter uselessness when in comes to this whole blogging thing.

So I guess the real point of this post was to open it up to you guys: have you ever experienced something similar to my situation, or maybe just a plain old blogging burnout? How did you deal with it – are there any tips that you would tell your past self now that could possibly help me as well? 

“I Dare You” Book Tag

 

i-dare-you-book-tag-graphic

I made my own graphic for this tag, I hope the lovely creator of this tag doesn’t mind.

 

Hello, hello!

Today I decided to try something a little different, I was tagged in the “I Dare You” Book Tag by Kayla @ KDrewTheBookworm, a tag originally created by Lena @Bookfandom1001. Thank you so much for the nomination! And for those reading, be sure to check out their blogs.

Here are the rules:

-You must be honest 

-You can’t not answer a question 

-You have to tag at least four people 


1. Which book has been on your shelves the longest? 

Honestly, I have some books I got within weeks of being born somewhere on my shelves, but they are rather hidden behind the multitude of novels I have collected over the years, so it is probably something rather Polish, most probably some sort of book of the fairytale variety.

2. What is your current read, your last read, and the book you’ll read next?

I am in the process of reading Six of Crows by the lovely Leigh Bardugo, after having finished Black Waters by India R. Adams this morning. I will most probably be reading Crooked Kingdom right after I am finished with Six of Crows.

3. What book did everyone like, but you hated?

This year’s example of a book that followed the its-not-you-its-me-2

pattern that I don’t often get to experience is definitely Something In Between by Melissa de la Cruz, you can read what bothered me about it here , but I do realise that I was amongst the minority when it came to opinions on this particular novel.

4. What book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read, but you probably won’t?

Most probably The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. I had started it before, and each time gave up miles before it was finished; so I think it’s safe to say that it will reside unfinished on my shelves.

5. Which book are you saving for retirement?

Must I really think that far ahead? Can I say a re-read of Twilight? I think it’ll be interesting to see what old, frail (this one’s a joke, I still want to kick butt once I’m retired) me thinks of Bella and her antics. If that answer is not legitimate enough, I can’t think of any other one – sorry!

6. Last page: read it first or wait till the end?

Lemme tell you a story… On a bright winter’s morning, 12-year old Ola thought it’d be a brilliant idea to read the last page of The Fault in Our Stars. One might think that it was a brilliant idea, surely nothing could go wrong? Could it? Could it??? I was young and naive, and boy was I in for a surprise. Needless to say, I don’t read the last pages of books since that incident.

7. Acknowledgements: waste of paper and ink or interesting aside?

I think that acknowledgements are somewhat a necessary part of novels,  but I do find that I am much more likely to read author’s notes than acknowledgements as those usually provide me with more information on the books which I had just read. Although I find the acknowledgement part of books a lovely thank you to those who supported their creation.

8. Which book character would you switch places with?

Uhm, I think it’s safe to say I’d be at least a wee bit dead if I traded places with most of the characters I love and admire. Could I change places with any of JLA’s girls, though? I mean, they go through some awful things, but for the most part, they come out unscathed and almost all of them are badass. Sign me up!

9. Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life (a person, a place, a time)?

I think I will forever associate The Woman in Black with my English teacher…. whom I honestly had a rather turbulent relationship with. Two years of studying said novel managed to completely ruin it for me.

10. Name a book you acquired in an interesting way.

Daylighters by Rachel Caine was borrowed from my friend… until she decided that it’d be better for me to keep it, as it looked rather at home with its predecessors on my shelves.

11. Have you ever given away a book for a special reason to a special person?

I can’t say that I have. I don’t tend to let go of my books once I have them, much like a labrador and a tennis ball – you want my books you’re going to have to chase me around the garden in circles. All jokes aside, I lend books to people, but if I want them to have a copy of a book I deem worthy of their possession, I’m more likely to give them a fresh copy which they can enjoy .

12. Which book has been with you to the most places?

All the books on my Kindle have travelled far and wide with me, across borders, towns, cities, villages, seas. I think we get the gist by now. So the answer is too many to name individually without you falling asleep.

13. Any “required reading” you hated in high secondary school that wasn’t so bad two years later? 

Honestly, I still either despise the books I was forced to read as part of the curriculum (another reason as to why I dropped English at A Level, I didn’t want to ruin any more novels for myself by having to study them repeatedly), or I found them alright, like Tuck Everlasting, I honestly think  that book was the best book our school forced us to read, followed closely by Private Peaceful… both of which were read in Year 7 – which tells you how long I have despised required reading for, given that I am currently in year 12.

14. What is the strangest item you’ve found in a book?

Apart from all sorts of bookmarks, all I’ve found in books I’ve borrowed from places like the library was a plethora of questionable stains and possibly the most exciting bookmark of all which was made of dried flowers and dated back to the last century, it was rather remarkable.

you look so beautiful salad fingers.gif

15. Used or brand new?

I prefer to buy new books because I have a thing about broken spines and dog-eared pages and sometimes used books have both and my soul dies a little each time and so I just prefer the pristine condition in which I can buy books from bookstores and isn’t this such a long sentence. If someone read that sentence out loud, they would have probably died from lack of oxygen, I apologise for the lack of punctuation but I think it illustrates the mental turmoil that causing harm to books causes me.

16. Have you ever read a Dan Brown book?

I’ve read bits of Inferno and The Da Vinci Code, but I’m not particularly into those sorts of novels at present. I will most probably finish both books and perhaps read more of his works with time.

17. Have you ever seen a movie you liked more than the book?

I think that TFiOS was definitely a case of this, I cried more at the film than I did at the book. There have been a few more, but I feel like I’m already committing sacrilege by admitting that so I’ll just go now. Moving on.

18. A book that should have NEVER been published.

I agree with Kayla and Lena on this one, such an awful question to demand a blogger to answer, but I am going to have to say any book that is racist, homophobic, sexist or downright rude about anything (unless it is aimed to look down on such outlooks) should not have a right to be published.

19. Have you ever read a book that’s made you hungry, cookbooks being excluded from this question?

Yes, Heartless by Marissa Meyer did a wonderful job of making me hungry with all the descriptions of the cakes made by Catherine…. I wanted to try all of them.

Who is the person whose book advice you’ll always take?

I have some trusted reviewers with whom I usually agree on bookish opinions, so most probably those. But I am usually willing to take any recommendations from anyone really, as long as the book sounds vaguely like something I might want to read.


I tag:

It’s okay if the aforementioned people do not wish to participate in this tag, but I would love to see their responses!

Do you largely disagree with some of my opinions? Or maybe we share an unpopular opinion? Have you read any of the books I have mentioned -or perhaps you want to recommend any of your reads? Tell me in the comments below.

Discussion: Middle Book Syndrome – Real or Not Real

So I think (or at least hope), that I’m not the only person out there who sometimes gets to a middle book in a series, or more notably in trilogies and sort of just

boo sleepy

Because I’m just soooo bored, or infuriated, or have simply lost the will to live because the love story had turned triangular, or because I don’t remember the characters, and the author has simply basically nearly failed to keep my attention for more than a short period of time because they haven’t introduced anything new and/or exciting to the story (which sort of defies the point of the series being continued if I’m being quite honest).

A prime example of this was Insurgent by Veronica Roth; simply put – I do not remember a single detail about that book… Or anything beyond the gist of it being Tris being special and Four still being alive. Which is something I should be ashamed of really considering I loved Divergent and (ending excluded) Allegiant, but somehow I don’t think I’m the only one out there who feels that way.

However, there are also examples of series where this hasn’t happened and the second/middle book was a great addition to the story such as in the Red Rising series by Pierce Brown. Golden Son was as exciting and engrossing as Red Rising, which was partly what made it such a good read (along with the fact that Brown is an amazing author and only writes kick-ass books).

Which brings me to the question:

Is the Middle/Second Book Syndrome a real thing that affects us readers… or is it just a figment of my imagination, or the fault of the few second books that ruin the reputation for everyone else? And if you’re a writer, how do you make sure that the second book is just as good as the first?

Tell me in the comments below 🙂

Discussion: Spine Breaking

So this week I decided to try something different and new – a discussion post! I’m still not 100% sure how it’s supposed to work, but I can attempt it… right? Any tips, or improvement suggestions for future posts are welcome 🙂


I have met people who do every possible option out there. Break spines, break some spines but not others, break spines but get upset and angry about it, or fear breaking spines like some fear Satan himself… Which, let’s just face it – is a lot.

When I was a wee child (read: silly 11 year old) – I used to break almost all spines and not think too much about it because who has the time to waste on such trivial matters… right? Right? WRONG.

shudder ryan reynolds.gif

The above is an accurate representation of me when I think about the possibility of even putting one tiny line on the spine of a book… Okay – mayyybeee that’s a slight exaggeration, but I thought Ryan illustrated it really well.

And before anyone says something (I’ve heard people get pretty offended about these sometimes). No. I do not care what anyone else does to their books – it is just a personal preference of mine.

Who knows? Maybe this will change in a few years time – maybe I’ll mature and think that this little obsession with pristine book spines was inane and pointless, maybe I won’t and it will remain somewhat a pet peeve of mine, I guess we just wait and see.

Do you break spines? Or, like me did you once and then decided to stop? Tell me in the comments below 🙂